Blackberry Debuts in Russia |
Russian network operators MTS and Vimpelcom have announced that two-year negotiations with Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) and with the FSB (the former KGB) have been successfully completed.
The bottleneck was e-mail encryption and the FSB. The FSB was requesting access to the Blackberry e-mail encryption code, while RIM was unwilling to provide code for decryption. But a compromise solution has been reached. For Russian users, a Blackberry server will be installed not on the client side, as anywhere in the rest of the world, but on the mobile carrier side. And Russian enforcement agencies will be able to monitor the traffic. All Russian telecom companies are required by law to have a so-called SORM (System of Operative Investigative Activities) system to provide enforcement bodies with access to monitoring voice and data traffic.
MTS and Vimpelcom have each been granted permission to import into Russia 300 Blackberry 8800s, 300 Blackberry 7290s, 480 Blackberry 8700Gs, as well as the Blackberry Enterprise Server v4.1.
The third largest Russian mobile operator, MegaFon, has announced a competing service called MegaSync. This also allows users to receive e-mail on their mobile with online data encryption, but does not require the user to use a specific device. The service is based on Nokia Intellisync technology. It is currently available on seven Nokia business mobile and soon will be available on over 100 mobile phones and PDAs from various manufacturers.
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