RIM agrees to filter porn in Indonesia

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion will restrict internet access to pornographic content for smartphone customers in Indonesia in response to government pressure

Research In Motion has agreed to filter access to pornographic sites for BlackBerry customers in Indonesia, after the government there threatened to close its service.

On Monday, the Canadian company said it will work with the Indonesian government and carriers in the country to introduce the restriction. It made the statement in response to an ultimatum from Indonesia's communications and information technology minister Tifatul Sembiring, who on Friday gave the handset specialist two weeks to restrict access to pornographic websites or risk being shut down, the Jakarta Globe reported.

"Research In Motion [RIM] confirms that it shares minister Tifatul Sembiring's sense of urgency on this matter and it is fully committed to working with Indonesia's carriers to put in place a prompt, compliant filtering solution for BlackBerry subscribers in Indonesia as soon as possible," the company said in the statement.

Lawful interceptions
In addition, the Indonesian government has demanded that RIM build a centre for lawful interceptions of email and other messages, according to reports. At the moment, RIM encrypts certain BlackBerry communications and routes the data through RIM-owned servers in Canada.

The handset company said it "continues to make it a top priority to implement satisfactory technical solutions with its partners as soon as possible", but made no explicit mention of pornography or an in-country server.

Analyst estimates put the number of BlackBerry users in Indonesia at between 1.5 million and 2 million. If RIM is unable to satisfy the Indonesian government, the country's telecommunications ministry could ask the six domestic telecommunications operators of BlackBerry's internet services in Indonesia to stop supporting it.

Indonesia first threatened to shut down BlackBerry internet services in August, alongside a raft of other countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.


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