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BlackBerry caught between clients, security curbs

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RIM, unlike rivals Nokia and Apple, operates its own network through secure services located in Canada and other countries such as Britain.

The BlackBerry image could suffer if users feel RIM has compromised its Enterprise email system — long valued by business executives and politicians for secure communications.

Corporate and consumer customers both use its BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging.

The German government has banned politicians and civil servants from using the BlackBerry and the European Union Commission this month rejected the BlackBerry in favour of Apple’s iPhone and HTC smartphones.

India seeks access to both email and Messenger, while Saudi Arabia has only targeted the instant messaging service.

RIM has said BlackBerry’s Enterprise system lets customers create their own key, and the company has neither a master key nor a “back door” to allow it or any third party to access crucial corporate data.

India’s security establishment wants RIM to give it access to encrypted messages in a readable format.

Officials say RIM has proposed helping India track emails without sharing encryption details, but that is not enough.

While national security appears to be India’s main concern, Middle Eastern countries are concerned that BlackBerry users may spread pornography or violate restrictions on contact between unrelated men and women.

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