JAKARTA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Research In Motion said on Monday it will filter pornographic internet content for its Blackberry smartphone users in Indonesia, following government pressure to stop access to porn sites or face its browsing service being shut down.
Indonesia, home to about 2 million Blackberry users, has also asked RIM to open a local server, part of demands by a number of countries to gain access to its encrypted data.
Indonesian Communications and Information Minister Tiffatul Sembiring has called for tighter internet controls and wants RIM to block access to porn sites to comply with an anti-pornography law in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
“Research In Motion confirms that it shares Minister Tifatul Sembirings sense of urgency on this matter and it is fully committed to working with Indonesias carriers to put in place a prompt, compliant filtering solution for Blackberry subscribers in Indonesia as soon as possible,” RIM said in a statement.
Indonesia in July said it would ask internet service providers to restrict access to porn sites, and Sembiring said others had already complied. When asked for a response on RIM’s statement of intent, Sembiring told Reuters: “So, do it”.
Indonesia is one of RIM’s faster-growing markets, with gross domestic product growth of about 6 percent and booming consumer demand in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
BlackBerry’s reputation is built on its system security and a compromise under pressure from governments could damage the device’s popularity with business professionals and politicians.
The anti-porn law, passed in 2008, was seen by many as a sign of the growing influence of conservative Islam in policy-making in traditionally moderate Indonesia, and Sembiring’s calls for more internet censorship have sparked a public outcry. (Reporting by Janeman Latul and Telly Nathalia; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)