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RealTime IT News

RIM, India Seek End to BlackBerry Security Flap

The Indian government plans to meet with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion next week, as the two sides look for a way to address national security officials' concerns.

The move comes as the latest effort to tackle worries by Indian government officials that e-mails sent through BlackBerry devices could not be traced or intercepted.

India's Ministry of Telecommunications has written to RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) asking for servers to be installed in India, which it said would help agencies monitor BlackBerry services.

"The next meeting is on April 21," a telecoms ministry spokeswoman told Reuters. "BlackBerry experts are working to reach at a solution which is acceptable to the security agencies. The status quo continues."

Satchit Gayakwad, RIM's spokesman for India, restated the Canadian company's position that it would not comment on confidential regulatory matters.

The government has held a series of meetings with RIM and mobile operators after officials initially raised concerns in March about their inability to scrutinize BlackBerry messages.

BlackBerry services are offered in India by four providers, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and BPL Mobile.

Gayakwad said BlackBerry's worldwide user base had reached 14 million at the end of March, from 12 million in December. Research In Motion would not give India-specific subscriber figures, but an analyst has said there are more than half a million BlackBerry users in India.