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BlackBerry Agrees to Block Porn Sites in Indonesia



After agreeing on Monday to demands from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the maker of BlackBerry has until Friday to block access to pornographic Web sites on the smartphones.

While the ministry welcomed the company’s commitment, Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said he would not move the deadline he set for Research in Motion to filter access to pornographic Web sites on the devices’ browser or see its permit revoked.
“The government is obliged to protect its citizens who use BlackBerry,” he said.

The agreement came out of a meeting between ministry officials and RIM on Monday.

“Based on the meeting, most likely RIM will bring in hardware from Canada,” said Heru Sutadi, commissioner of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Body (BRTI). 

The filtering system for BlackBerry technology is not yet available in Indonesia.

“BlackBerry’s system is different than the others. While Internet service on other mobile devices connects to local internet service providers, BlackBerry connects directly to its server in Canada,” Heru said.

He added that RIM was well aware of the deadline and that it has about 100 hours as of Monday to meet it.

After the two-hour meeting, which was also attended by representatives of six telecommunications operators, RIM reiterated its commitment to “providing solutions” to Indonesia’s demands.

“We are very pleased in terms of the dialogue and we fully understand the needs and requirements articulated by the ministry, and we are committed to providing solutions to satisfy the needs and requirements of the ministry and the Indonesian government related to BlackBerry service in Indonesia,” Gregory Wade, the company’s managing director for Southeast Asia, told reporters at the Sapta Pesona building in Central Jakarta.

Wade added that the key component of content filtering is related to the six operators that support BlackBerry services in Indonesia. “So this is a collaborative effort between RIM and operators,” he said.

Hasnul Suhaimi, president director of XL Axiata, told the Jakarta Globe that the company was ready to collaborate with RIM to satisfy government demands. 

“We are still discussing about the cost, so there is no conclusion yet,” Hasnul said.

Tifatul said RIM had also agreed to the ministry’s demand that it enable Indonesian authorities to lawfully intercept and monitor messages exchanged on the device. 

He went on to say that RIM planned to set up a network aggregator in Southeast Asia. 

“Indonesia is their biggest market base in Southeast Asia, and we would like them to set it up here so that it will reduce BlackBerry tariffs,” he said. 

Telekomunikasi Indonesia shares rose, providing the biggest lift to the Jakarta Composite Index, after the agreement between RIM and the government was announced. Stock in the nation’s largest telephone company rose 1.3 percent to close at Rp 7,600.

Telkom is among the companies offering BlackBerry service.

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