BlackBerry faces sanctions in Indonesia following outage

BlackBerry faces sanctions in Indonesia following outage

Summary: The archipelago's government is preparing sanctions against the Canadian smartphone manufacturer after an outage earlier this week left Indonesians without access to its messaging services.

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The Indonesian government is preparing sanctions against BlackBerry after an outage left Indonesians without access to BlackBerry messaging services.

The Indonesian government is preparing sanctions against BlackBerry after an outage on Wednesday left Indonesians without access to messaging services delivered by the Canadian smartphone maker.

Gatot Dewa Broto, a spokesperson from the archipelago's Communication and Information Technology Ministry, told Bloomberg the sanctions were pending BlackBerry's report on the disruption and the Indonesian government will also consult the telecommunications regulatory board to assess if the incident violated local rules.

Broto added it was the fourth outage for BlackBerry since April 2013.

"We don't want to be seen as allowing this keep happening again," he said, adding the government was preparing sanctions but declined to elaborate what these may be.

The outage on Wednesday affected BlackBerry Messenger and may hinder the company's efforts to sustain its market share in Indonesia. BlackBerry has about 6.3 million subscribers in Indonesia, an increase from 6 million in 2012, and 5 million in 2011, Broto noted.

This is not the first time Indonesia imposed sanctions on BlackBerry, the report noted. The communications ministry in June 2009 stopped licenses for sales of new BlackBerry models after the opening of a local branch office with after-sales service. In September 2009, the government ended a two-month freeze on issuing licenses for new BlackBerry models after it opened a service center in Jarkata. Both sanctions were reportedly the government's attempt to slow down BlackBerry's rapid growth in the Indonesian market. 

Topics: Smartphones, Government Asia, BlackBerry

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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