I just spoke with a colleague at RIM/Blackberry who mentioned that the Indian news is abuzz in response to the government’s demand that they be granted access to all calls and emails from every Blackberry in the country. RIM has some 400,000 Blackberry users in India which is an important source of revenue. Indeed, Blackberry users in India spend some $28/month; the global average is $22 and the average mobile phone user in India only spends some $5 a month.
The government argues that these measures are a question of national security given fears of terrorism in the country. The security agencies have therefore asked that Blackberry deposit its decryption keys or allow communications to be intercepted. The latest news is that India’s ministry of telecommunications has requested RIM to put up servers in India, which would help securities agencies monitor the services.
In my opinion, all this does is send a message to potential terrorists not to use Blackberries.