RIM to filter internet for BlackBerry users in Indonesia

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Responding to pressure from Indonesia's government, Research In Motion (RIM) has decided to filter pornographic internet content for BlackBerry users in that country.

RIM “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 Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in a Jan. 10 statement.

This marks the first time that RIM has applied internet filtering in any country, and the move came after Indonesian Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring threatened to shut down the BlackBerry browsing service. It is estimated that RIM has approximately two million users in Indonesia, and analysts report that the market represents one of the fastest growing for the BlackBerry.

Indonesia has also asked RIM — which currently routes traffic through Canada, Britain and other countries — to use a local server to enable the government access to data sent via BlackBerry. The company contended that establishing an Indonesian presence will have no impact on its ability to decrypt the data flow on its devices, should it be required to support an investigation.

The world's most-populous Muslim country, Indonesia enacted a strict anti-pornography law in 2008, something that was noted by observers as a sign of the growing power of conservative factions in the traditionally moderate Southeast Asian nation.

RIM is also holding discussions with India regarding access to encrypted email and other data. Last year, the company reached an undisclosed agreement with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to allow authorities to read encrypted text sent via BlackBerry Messenger.

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