After RIM (BlackBerry) Indian Govt. Twists Ears of Google & Skype

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The controversy over the access to users’ data, which has marked a big question mark on RIM (Blackberry) services, has got a new twist with the extended warning to Google Inc, Skype Technologies SA and few other service providers. Besides RIM (BlackBerry) Govt has asked other companies to set up local servers in India like Research in Motion (RIM) which would allow security agencies to monitor mail traffic.

“They have to install servers in India” and “this applies to all,” Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters in New Delhi today. Notices will be sent to the companies for “lawful access” by the security agencies, he said.

The new guidelines to all other companies has been issued due to protection from any terrorist attack or any illegal activities which can be executed by illegal authorities. Government is urging equipment makers and service providers to provide solutions to meet its security needs. RIM, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry phones, averted a ban on Aug. 31 by conceding to official demand.

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India started testing RIM’s monitoring tools today to see if they allow security agencies to tap its messenger- and enterprise mail services. Discussions for further access are continuing and the steps will be reviewed in 60 days, Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said in New Delhi.

A ban would have affected more than a million users and halted the company’s expansion in the world’s second-biggest mobile-phone market. Skype, whose investors include EBay Inc. and private equity firm Silver Lake of Menlo Park, California, hasn’t received any notification from the government, Spokesman Brian O’Shaughnessy said in an e-mail today, as reported by Bloomberg. The company provides software that lets more than a half billion users make telephone and video calls over the Internet.

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