BlackBerry escapes India ban for 60 days

India has withdrawn its threat to ban BlackBerry devices for another 60 days after the handset's maker, Canadian company Research In Motion, agreed to give authorities 'lawful access' to encrypted data carried on its servers.

Proposals by the company have been put into effect immediately, the government said on Monday.

It is so far unclear exactly what offer RIM has made to the Indian government, but it seems likely it stops short of the authorities' original demands.

India's Ministry of Home Affairs had given the company until 31 August to provide real-time access in an unencrypted, 'readable' form to enterprise email and instant messages sent by Indian BlackBerry users, or face having some services banned in the country.

Authorities in India are concerned that BlackBerry's encrypted services may be used by terrorists to communicate.

Mobile and satellite phones were said to have been used by the terrorists who carried out co-ordinated attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, killing at least 173 people.

The ministry said in a statement that it would review RIM's proposals over the next 60 days, while India's Department of Telecommunications looks into the possibility of re-routing BlackBerry services through a server in India.

RIM avoided a ban in Saudi Arabia earlier this month after agreeing to provide local authorities with access to its servers.

If put into practice, the Indian government's threatened ban would have affected around one million BlackBerry users from the subcontinent.

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