Blackberry to Filter Pornography Websites on its Smartphones in Indonesia

Blackberry maker Research In Motion has agreed to filter pornographic Internet content for its smartphone users in Indonesia, after government pressure to comply with a new anti-pornography law.

RIM says it is fully committed to working with Indonesia’s carriers to put in place a filtering system as soon as possible.

But Jakarta wants the smartphone maker to go further, with Communications and Information Ministry spokesman Gatot S. Dewa Broto saying it wants access to data for security reasons.

[Gatot S.Dewa Broto, Ministry Spokesman]:
„So this is not only to filter, filtering is only part of a bigger purpose, what we want is to ensure protection for law enforcement purposes. Indonesian government’s request is that we want RIM to build data centers and servers, build a business entity in Jakarta and one of the most urgent matter is to ask for their cooperation in filtering pornographic content.“

The Canadian company has been hit by similar demands from countries like India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and has relented on some consumer services.

But it has struck a defiant tone for its business data services.

These services are used by millions of corporate and government users to protect sensitive information, with the data stored on servers located in Canada.

RIM says the location of its servers makes no difference in terms of decrypting data.

The Blackberry maker is concerned its image for secure communication may be compromised though, should it bow to government demands.

The wireless device is popular in Indonesia, allowing an estimated two million users to access the Internet, conduct online chats and write email in a vast country of 17,000 islands with low Internet coverage.