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RIM Promises Officials to Censor Porn in Indonesia

see no evil hear no evil speak no evil

RIM keeps on getting hammered by governments trying to close the internet to their citizens. The latest comes from Indonesia where the Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM will implement internet filtering “as soon as possible.” Supposedly an Indonesian minister threatened to block internet browsing on BlackBerrys if RIM did not block porn websites.

This is a first for RIM as far as I know and the same Information Minister, Tifatul Sembiring, has also demanded that RIM set up a server in Indonesia for them to monitor email. Once again these governments are using the terrorist wildcard to demand this information while not realizing that these methods only stop innocent users since it is trivial for criminals to bypass these taps with encrypted email that even RIM and the US government cannot read.

I wonder if RIM is ever going to take a stand and say enough is enough… Trying to block anything on the internet is an exercise in futility.

15 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I’m an Indonesian and also find this effort by our minister is kind of futile, at least in the censorship part.
    I don’t quite understand about the server part, is it possible for RIM to build server in Indonesia?

    • It sounds like they want RIM to basically give them access to RIM’s server to monitor emails. Tough issue … They have millions of users and could risk their access being cut off totally. They could take a stand like Google did with China, but RIM ain’t Google.. not sure if they can afford all these setbacks.

  2. Its not really rims responsibility to try and change a countrys censorship laws is it?

  3. In July, Indonesia 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.”
    -reuters

    Hmm.. I thinks its pretty possible if they wanted…

  4. Perhaps.. i guess they just don’t want another stand-off like with other countries.

  5. why don’t they just restrict access to porn altogether for everyone….

    • I think thats the idea. I’m guessing when the article says it “asked” the country’s internet providers, it really means “ordered”. They’re just telling RIM to do the same since the data goes through RIM’s server.

  6. The thing is trying to block anything on the Internet is an exercise in futility. For every one person building a wall there are 5-10 people trying to tear it down. Just ask the paranoid Chinese government how well censorship is working and they are spending billions of dollars on the problem. They have yet to find a solution due to the mind boggling amount of content online. There is just no way to put pandora back in the box other than turning off the internet. In other words nothing RIM can currently do will block porn totally from BlackBerrys. Any blocks will be more or less a joke or in other words a waste of RIM’s time they should be spending bringing us a new generation of BlackBerry smartphones. :)

    • True words.. it basically sounds like they’re just paying lip service to the country so they don’t cut off access to its 2 million users there.

  7. While I oppose porn. I also support freedom and the right to privacy… It is a difficult situation. In the end I would say the government is nuts to try and get RIM to do that.

  8. Not that I view porn but I reserve my right to do so if I so choose.

    Another benefit to living in this Porn & Prayer Country I guess.

  9. Minister A: “you know what, RIM makes IDR 2 billions annually from their customer in our country, and they pay us nothing”
    Minister B: “yea, I know. That much money and they share us nothing. Is there something we can do?”
    Minister A: “oh, I have an idea, we demand them to pay taxes”
    Minister B: “but how? They’re not even here? You know our law, we can’t demand tax from them if they are not here physically.”
    Minister A: “haha, that’s easy, we push them so they have to build a server/data center here, surely they won’t let 2 millions of their customer get away, and we make cover up story like terrorist and pornography censorship, it will work. Trust me.”
    Minister B: “wow, you’re awesome, you’re the man, let’s do this and their money will soon flow into our purse”
    Minister A: “I’m the man, haha.”
    Both of them: *chest bump* *man hug* *high five*

  10. another thing to consider is RIM is holding their DevCon conference there (this week i think). They probably want things to go smoothly without distraction

  11. Here is some interesting background on the Indonesia-RIM relationship:
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lifeandtimes/the-trouble-with-blackberry/416546

    “The biggest snag involves controversial Communication Minister Tifatul Sembiring, who has threatened to ban the company’s services here unless its blocks all access to pornographic Web sites by BlackBerry devices in the country by Jan. 21. “

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