Report: BlackBerry hands over PIN to Indian govt

The Indian government reportedly has received the PIN details of BlackBerry handsets shipped to the country, and may ask for similar data of every BlackBerry handset worldwide to allow it to monitor messages between users in the country and abroad.

Citing a Department of Telecommunications (DoT) report dated December 31, Times of India reported on Thursday that BlackBerry had given the Indian government the PIN details of all the BlackBerry handsets shipped to the country. However, the unique identification numbers of BlackBerry phones in other countries were excluded "due to privacy and legal provisions", it said.

Each BlackBerry handset comes with a unique PIN that cannot be changed and is tied to the phone. Users can use the PIN to add others into BlackBerry Messenger. According to the Times of India, the DoT panel had recommended that the government also ask for the PIN details of BlackBerry users across the "entire world" to track incoming and outgoing messages between users in India and others abroad.