Tuesday, August 31, 2010

India: Control versus Commerce, Terror versus Traffic

It makes us wonder if India really wants to be a digital powerhouse. First the bring back tax on IT which could add a hefty 25% on all that is digital, then it turned its focus on Blackberry and now is demanding "access to everything". They want "any company with a telecoms network should be accessible". It could be Google or Skype next and you can’t rule out government access to any virtual private networks.

Increased fears of terrorism is one thing, but chopping the legs from under the industry that make its growth today, is another.

Blackberry has been given 60 days to come up with a way to open up its data to Indian law enforcement authorities and is reported to be setting up a server in India as part of the solution. Some cynics would suggest the 60 delay is so not to upset the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October in a country that has 1.1 million customers.

Its goingto be interesting to see who follows the Indian lead and whether the new measures and tax issues simply move the business further offshore.

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