Tuesday, August 31, 2010

After RIM, its Skype and Google's turn to open up

RIM averted a ban by Indian government
by providing an interim solution that India authorities will test for another 60 days before making any further decision. Earlier India Government had warned RIM of possible shutdown if they don’t provide access to encrypted email and instant messages. Not much has been disclosed about the possible solution to intercept messages. There are even reports of installing servers locally in India for Indian Authorities to have easy access. Some are skeptical about the whole fiasco and even call this as a farce between RIM and Indian Authorities .

So with the interim solution from RIM, it looks like a face saving deal for both RIM and Indian government. With a partial victory over RIM, Indian authorities are targeting Skype and Google to open up their end-to-end secure communication for lawful intercept. Now this is where it gets interesting. Iam not sure how Skype is going to support Lawful intercept of their calls and messages. One of the reasons being that Skype is a P2P protocol and there are no servers involved between users for communication. Iam not even sure if Skype supports Lawful intercept standards. They have been having problems with law enforcement agencies for years now and don’t think there is a solution. Indian government is pushing these companies to install local servers for authorities to have easy access. Nokia plans to setup servers in India by November for its enterprise email services.

For RIM, building its own Blackberry data center within the country would cost tens of millions of dollars. Not sure if this is something RIM will consider in future given that the Mobile Smartphone market in India is gone explode. Currently RIM has roughly around 1 million blackberry users and that might change in future. Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts predicts that Indian Smartphone market will grow to 40 million by the end of 2015.

It would be interesting to hear what Skype has to say now that their IPO is imminent. Will they Comply like others Or not give a rat’s ass to Indian Authorities?

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