DoT planning to extend BlackBerry lawful interception solution deadline to January or February, 2013
Recently, the Department of Telecommunications inIndia (DoT) directed service providers to ensure an infrastructure for legal interception of BlackBerry services was in place by 31st December, 2012.
This happened after the government put lot of pressure on RIM to have its server stationed in India to address lawful access requirements for consumer messaging services, which include BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) email but despite the pressure, it seems Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Aircel, TTSL and Idea Cellular would not be in a position to install the system on the due date thanks to DoT.
First, DoT has only approved Verint as the exclusive vendor for deploying lawful interception solution for BlackBerry services in the country when there are solutions from Adaptive Mobile and Aqsacom in the market.
Second, Verint has not deployed a lawful interception solution for BlackBerry services anywhere in the world according to industry sources but despite that Verint was given a go ahead in India. Not only this, even the demo pilot deployed by Vodafone had lot of glitches in terms of correlation of the call content and the qualitative information was not up to the mark for BB6 and BB7 operating system.
Third, when Verint was not able to support the present version how will it support RIM’s new BlackBerry 10 OS.
A questionnaire was mailed to Verint India office but there was no response from Ashutosh Kar, sales director, Verint Systems India.
Commenting on a lawful interception solution, a RIM spokesperson said
“Whilst we are not at liberty to share the lawful monitoring solution deployed by other countries, in India we have been working closely with the LEA’s and carriers in meeting their lawful access requirements, in line with RIM’s stated lawful access principles.’
Even DoT was not willing to comment on RIM’s lawful interception story despite repeated requests.
According to industry experts, only Adaptive Mobile and Aqsacom has deployed a full fledged lawful interception solution for BlackBerry services worldwide. Both companies have deployed a lawful interception solution in Middle East.
Speaking on BlackBerry lawful interception solution Sunil Singh, vice president – Business Development, Aqsacom India said ‘
We are compatible with all OS versions of RIM currently available and will cater to other versions as and when released’.
All this leads to multiple questions which DoT needs to answer.
First, why did DoT opt for exclusivity in the case of BlackBerry lawful interception services?
Second, why didn’t DoT deploy solutions which were tested in the worldwide market so that India can get best solution so that it can solve the problem of security agencies?
Third, will the operator again pay for the new version whenever it is being launched by Verint?
Fourth, will BlackBerry services get further extension so that there is no discontinuity of BlackBerry services in the country?
According to industry insiders, DoT is planning to extend the BlackBerry lawful interception solution deadline to January – or February, 2013.