Distancing itself from the brewing controversy on the possible banning of BlackBerry mobiles in India, the United States state department said that the matter had to be worked out between the company and Indian regulators.
In a media briefing on Friday, a department spokesman said, ''While we have been in touch with our foreign partners, this is a matter for Research In Motion to work out directly with Indian officials.''
The Indian home ministry has warned that it might halt BlackBerry electronic mail and messaging services if Canada-based RIM does not make them accessible to security agencies by 31 August. The prime concern of the government is the potential use of BlackBerry's encrypted services by terrorists.
Meanwhile, RIM said it hopes to be able to resolve the concerns of India's security agencies. "I am optimistic," Robert E Crow, RIM's vice-president for industry, government and university relations, told reporters after meeting officials of the ministry of home affairs. He declined to elaborate.
According to a Reuters report, an unnamed senior government official too expressed similar optimism. "They have assured us that they will come with some technical solution for Messenger and enterprise mail next week. Our technical team will evaluate if it works."
It remains to be seen how much brinkmanship is involved. No country has carried through on threats to ban BlackBerry corporate email or messaging services.