Indonesian government threatens BlackBerry service shutdown

Summary:The Indonesian government is threatening to shut down BlackBerry services citing 'security reasons', shortly after RIM chose to build their latest datacenter in Singapore.

The Indonesian government has threatened to shut down BlackBerry services in the region, as the company has not been "cooperative", the Jakarta Post reports.

This decision likely comes as a result of Research in Motion (RIM) opting to build their latest datacenter in neighbouring Singapore, despite it having a much smaller BlackBerry consumer market.

RIM had agreed with the government that it would establish a datacenter by December 31st as part of a series of agreements decided upon in September.

However it was not specified that RIM would necessarily build the server on Indonesian soil, but it was expected due to Indonesia having the largest number of BlackBerry users in the south-east Asia market.

The Government cited "security reasons" as to why the service should be shut down.

The Indonesian Telecommunication Regulation Body stated that: "with the condition as it is now, we warn that the country's users be cautious about using BlackBerry because the data exchanged is not safe."

All BlackBerry data is processed through Research in Motion's datacenters in Canada, which allows the data to be uniquely secure; something that no other network offers.

It also means however that the government does not have access to the data. Without a server located in Indonesia, the government is unable to filter any communications going through the BlackBerry networks.

RIM had previously faced some trouble with the Indonesian government by allowing users access to online pornography through its services. Internet pornography was banned in the region in 2008, meaning that RIM could have been breaking the law by not ensuring adequate safeguards.

If the government were able to monitor and access these networks, it would be able to filter and censor 'illegal' material. As a consequence, it would therefore also be able to monitor its citizens.

Update: A RIM spokesperson said that it is "working with law enforcement agencies" as per national law, and that the company has "established a content filtering system" per the requirements outlined by the government.

The Indonesian government did not comment as to whether it would continue with shutting down the BlackBerry service in the region.

Related:

Topics: Government : US, Government

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