India sets deadline for BlackBerry ban

Government in Delhi threatens to block Blackberry email and messaging services if access not given t

The Indian government on Thursday threatened to block encrypted BlackBerry corporate e-mail and messaging services if the company failed to give the country's security agencies access to them by 31 August.

India said it needs access in a readable format to encrypted BlackBerry communication as it could be misused by terrorists and other anti-national elements.

Pakistan-based militants reportedly used similar mobile and satellite phone devices in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

India is also likely to pursue similar issues with Google, Skype and other communications services, the Financial Times has reported.

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of the smartphone BlackBerry, said it will try to co-operate with governments around the world who are threatening to block its services.

The United Arab Emirates has also set a similar deadline of 11 October for RIM to give its security agencies access to data passing through its devices.