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RIM Cedes to Indonesia's Demands, Agrees to Block Porn on BlackBerrys

censored blackberryRIM has agreed to block porn sites on all BlackBerry devices within Indonesia, as part of the government's ongoing efforts to rid its country of online smut.

In a statement released today, RIM confirmed that it's in negotiations with local service providers to find a "prompt, compliant filtering solution" before the government-imposed deadline of January 21st. If the company does not comply with Indonesia's demands by that date, RIM would face legal consequences. Government spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto told Bloomberg that the majority-Muslim country would consider blocking all Web-browsing capabilities on BlackBerry smartphones in the event that its demands are not met. The government has also asked RIM to build a server in Jakarta, which would allow officials to easily seize data considered important to criminal investigations.

This isn't the first time that RIM has found itself at the center of a telecommunications controversy in the Muslim world. Last year, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia threatened to cripple all BlackBerry phones unless the manufacturer allowed the respective governments to monitor data sent across its networks. This is, however, the first time that RIM has publicly acknowledged that it will cooperate with regulatory demands.

Heru Sutadi, a member of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Body, thinks the company may face more political obstacles as it expands operations into more tightly regulated countries. "This isn't just Indonesia," Sutadi explained to Bloomberg. "Middle Eastern countries are also being hard on RIM. By looking at the big Indonesia market, I'm sure RIM will obey."

Tags: BlackBerry, cellphones, censorship, filter, indonesia, islam, MiddleEast, politics, porn, RIM, smartphone, top

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