Monday, April 18, 2011

Nokia's push email services barred in India

Cellcos must block new pushmail offering until security requirements are satisfied.

 RIM's clashes with Indian authorities over email services that they cannot monitor have hit the headlines, but the BlackBerry maker is not the only firm in the spotlight. Microsoft, Skype and Google have their own ongoing negotiations about how far the government should be able to monitor and intercept mobile email and messaging. Now Nokia's new push email services have been barred until they can satisfy the requirements of the security agencies.

According to the Economic Times, the Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered mobile operators to bar Nokia's new offerings for now, and "not to launch Nokia's proposed pushmail/powermail service without putting in place monitoring facilities". This directive comes despite a compromise, reached in December, under which Nokia set up a server in India to help authorities monitor email and provide real time interception.
The issue is hugely serious for Nokia. While RIM is mainly risking the loss of future business, as 3G starts to take off in India, Nokia already makes substantial business from corporate and consumer email services, and has specifically created an offering for those without PCs, as part of its LifeTools family of apps for emerging markets. At the high end, Its E Series devices are the most used business phones in India and almost half of them are activated for push email, the service now under threat. This allows users to manage multiple email accounts via clients such as Yahoo, Gmail or Sify.
Meanwhile, the March 31 deadline for RIM to present a solution for BlackBerry Enterprise Services, which would satisfy the authorities, has passed with no apparent resolution. The arguments are taking place against a change in the law, which is broadening the legal meaning of telecoms and IT services. This will make it compulsory for operators to have systems in place to support authorized intercepts - based on telephone numbers, device identity, email IDs, IP addresses or keywords - by national security agencies on a real time basis.source

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