Chidambaram insists on access to blackberry corporate customers

Home Minister P Chidambaram refused to buy blackberry maker Research In Motion’s explanation that the firm cannot expose the data of its corporate clients. RIM had, last week, put its foot down on sharing of enterprise-customer data, pointing out that no enterprise connectivity provider in India allows the government to snoop on their customers’ data. It had, however, offered its full co-operation for the consumer-oriented, blackberry messenger service.

“LIke they have given us a solution for the messenger service, we would insist that they give us a solution for the enterprise service as well,” Chidambaram said at a press conference in the capital. He, however, softened his stand by pointing out that the final decision will be made jointly by the Home Ministry, of which he is the head, and the Department of Telecom, headed by Kapil Sibal, as early as Monday itself.

“I am not aware of what decision will be taken.. I have not been briefed on the issue,” he said, pointing to the joint DoT-Home Ministry team holding consultations with the Canadian firm.

Blackberry had, in August last year, set up a system to conduct surveillance over ‘suspicious’ individual blackberry accounts, but refused a similar facility for enterprise customers. It pointed out that its clients are already worried about the prospect and would desert it for other providers if it offered the same facility to the government.