* RIM will give access to data from Sept. 1 - govt source
* India says it will review situation in 60 days
* RIM stock rises more than 1 pct
(Adds stock price, analyst's comment)
By Bappa Majumdar and Devidutta Tripathy
NEW DELHI, Aug 30 Research In Motion RIM.TO
will give India access to secure BlackBerry data beginning
Sept. 1, a government source said on Monday, leading New Delhi
to put off a decision on whether to shut down the smartphone.
Concerned about militants using the BlackBerry or Internet
to plan attacks, India is also pushing RIM, Google and Skype to
set up local servers to allow full monitoring of their
Shares of Canadian-based RIM rose after the Indian Interior
Ministry said the company had offered several ways to allow
authorities to monitor BlackBerry communications. The
government said it would check their feasibility over the next
New Delhi had threatened to shut down BlackBerry email
services by Tuesday unless RIM provided a workable way for the
government to monitor the data. India has said it wants the
means to fully track and read BlackBerry communications.
Indian officials have also expressed concerns over security
threats from Internet-based messaging and other services from
providers such as Google (GOOG.O) and Skype.
The Indian government had set a Aug. 31 deadline for RIM to
come up with a method to allow email monitoring and avoid a
shutdown in the world's fastest-growing mobile phone market. On
Monday, a source said RIM provided an interim solution.
"They have given some access, which we will operationalize
from Sept. 1," said the government source, referring to RIM.
"They will have to provide full access to all
communications that go through India. They will have to set up
a server in India," the source said on condition of anonymity
as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Q+A on BlackBerry security: [ID:nN12132220]
A RIM spokesman based in India said the company had no
immediate comment, while a spokeswoman at Google said the
company was unable to comment as it had had no communication
from the government.
Skype said it had also not received any directive from
authorities in India.
BlackBerry's reputation is built on its system security and
a compromise under pressure from governments could damage the
device's popularity with business professionals and
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Nokia NOK1V.HE, RIM's two biggest
smartphone rivals, may have the most to gain if India blocks
BlackBerry services. Nokia said on Monday it will host an email
server in India from Nov. 5.
India is keen to retain its position as one of the world's
fastest-growing information-technology nations, and a
BlackBerry ban would jeopardize its status. A shutdown would
also limit the efficiency and productivity of Indian businesses
that rely on the smartphone.
"It is a huge hassle, not only for the government itself,
which uses the RIM service," said Avian Securities analyst
"It's not easy to take out all of your servers, put in new
servers, take out all the different devices you have in the
field, put in new devices. It's a big hassle and a cost," he
RIM uses powerful codes to encrypt email messages as they
travel between a BlackBerry and a computer known as a
BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) that is designed to secure
RIM has said BlackBerry security is based on a system where
the customers create their own key and the company neither has
a master key nor any "back door" to allow RIM or any third
party to gain access to crucial corporate data.
In addition to India, several other countries, most of them
in the Middle East, have raised concerns that the BlackBerry
could be used to aid terrorism or peddle pornography.
Saudi Arabia, fretful over services such as online
pornography, has reached a deal with RIM on access to the
BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service, a consumer
product that operates outside of the secure corporate domain.
India has also reached a deal until November on Messenger
service, according to government sources.
Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have raised similar
concerns, with the UAE setting an Oct. 11 deadline for RIM.
Analysts see no easy fix to the standoff as RIM says it has
no way of intercepting the data that countries want to access.
RIM has denied media reports that say it provided unique
wireless services or access to any one country. [ID:nWEN8334]
A shutdown would affect about 1 million users in India out
of a total 41 million BlackBerry users worldwide, allowing them
to use the devices only for calls and Internet browsing.
RIM's stock was up 54 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $46.53 on
Nasdaq, and up 80 Canadian cents, or 1.8 percent, at C$49.15 on
the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday afternoon.
(Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Frank McGurty; additional
reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; editing by Surojit
Gupta, Jui Chakravorty, Michael Roddy, Peter Galloway and Rob