Two years ago, the wish to have control over communication systems and the lack of technical resources of Indian intelligence agencies has led to a particular request targeted at Indian ISPs – to lower encryption levels. The ISPs complied.
Currently, RIM is waiting for the decision about a possible ban of use of its BlackBerry device in the country, because it seems that it can’t comply fully with the government’s request of allowing the interception of encrypted communications by their clients.
And while RIM is eagerly awaiting the verdict that is due at the end of January, there are others who expect to receive a similar request soon and are eager to explain their position and the reasons why they would fail to comply.
According to The Economic Times, Google India products chief Vinay Goel expressly says that if asked, they would not share Gmail encryption keys with the Indian government. “When users entrust their data with us, we are expected to protect it, which is why, user privacy is very important for Google,” he said, adding that access to the e-mail service is decided by US – not Indian – law.
To soften the blow, he says that the company is open “to offering the Indian government access to encrypted Gmail communication in the event of a large-scale risk to human life and property.”