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BlackBerry Maker To Filter Web In Indonesia

RIM has been given a week to show that it can make its BlackBerry phone compliant with Indonesia's Internet filtering rules.

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Indonesia's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on Monday said that Research In Motion (RIM) has a week to demonstrate that it can implement the government's Web filtering rules on its BlackBerry mobile phones.

Gatot S. Dewa Broto, head of communications for the Ministry (Kemenkominfo in Indonesian) warned that RIM's lack of content filtering on the BlackBerry could allow users to access porn sites.

RIM said in a statement that it "shares Minister Tifatul Sembiring sense of urgency on this matter" and that it aims to deliver a compliant filtering solution for BlackBerry customers in the country as soon as it can.

"RIM has been engaged with its carrier partners and the government on this matter and continues to make it a top priority to implement satisfactory technical solutions with its partners as soon as possible," the company said in an e-mailed statement.

The censorship requirement represents the first time RIM has had to apply Internet filtering to its devices, a RIM executive in Indonesia told the Wall Street Journal. Similar demands from other governments seem inevitable.

Last August, the United Arab Emirates' Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that it planned to suspend BlackBerry e-mail and instant messaging in two months because it could not access the encrypted communications. Then, in October, the TRA said that BlackBerry devices had been made compliant with the country's rules and withdrew the threatened suspension. Authorities in Saudi Arabia issued a similar statement last August, allowing the continued operation of BlackBerry devices.

In December, the government of India said it is "engaged with Research in Motion (RIM), the provider of BlackBerry services, to find out a solution for the interception and monitoring of messenger chat and enterprise e-mail using BlackBerry phone." The Indian government said that while it can monitor Voice, SMS and individual e-mail communication, it is presently unable to access communication sent through RIM's BlackBerry Messenger Service and BlackBerry Enterprise Service because of encryption.

RIM maintains both that it cooperates with governments around the world in support of their lawful information requests and that it "truly has no ability to provide its customers’ encryption keys."

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