BlackBerry maker RIM has agreed to the Indonesian government’s demands to implement pornography filters for the country’s 2 million BlackBerry users. According to a statement from the company RIM is seeking a “prompt, compliant filtering solution.” The Indonesian government gave RIM until January 21 to begin filtering porn sites or face being shut down in the country.
RIM has faced these sorts of threats from other governments for failing to censor online content, most notably last year when both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were poised to ban the devices for non-compliance with the countries’ telecommunications rules.
But this is the first time that RIM has publically agreed to filter Internet content on its phones. However it’s unlikely to be the last time that it will face these sorts of demands, particularly as RIM expands into countries where there are heavy restrictions on porn and other “objectionable” content. “This isn’t just Indonesia,” Heru Sutadi, a member of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Body, which oversees the industry, told Bloomberg. “Middle Eastern countries are also being hard on RIM. By looking at the big Indonesia market, I’m sure RIM will obey.”
According to Bloomberg, the filtering in Indonesia may include a complete blocking of the BlackBerry’s web browsing capabilities. While RIM has said it will offer an Internet filter in Indonesia, it has complied with several other of the government’s requests, building a server in Indonesia so authorities can “conduct investigations against perpetrators of crime.”