Blackberry Porn Banned In Indonesia…. But There’s More To It Than Just Porn

RIM has a new issue that they’re dealing with. Apparently the Indonesian Government doesn’t like the fact their citizens can get porn on their Blackberries. Therefore they want it banned and RIM is trying to comply:

In a statement made available to the Jakarta Globe on Monday, RIM said it shared Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring’s “sense of urgency” on the issue and it was “fully committed to working with Indonesia’s carriers to put in place a prompt, compliant filtering solution for BlackBerry subscribers in Indonesia as soon as possible.”

RIM also said it had been engaged with the government on the matter and continued to make it a top priority to implement satisfactory technical solutions with its carrier partners as soon as possible.

Oh yeah, you might find Indonesia’s other demands familiar. Here’s what Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring wants as well:

Apart from blocking access to pornographic Web sites, Tifatul has also been adamant in demanding that RIM set up local servers to allow the country’s law enforcers to monitor data sent between BlackBerry users.

“All telecommunications operators in Indonesia have complied with the regulation. Why not RIM? I think that they will, but they should not delay,” the minster said.

So there is a chance that a January 21st deadline could still be enforced though. We’ll have to see how things go.

The thing is, this may not be about porn:

On Tuesday, Machfud Siddiq, a legislator from Tifatul’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), said the campaign was more than just about blocking porn.

He said the main purpose of the ultimatum was to highlight how RIM was “taking too much money from Indonesians without even paying any taxes here.”

“The company brings no economic benefits to Indonesia, yet they take so much money from here,” he said.

“And because the company is based in Canada, it pays taxes there, not here.”

“So this isn’t just about Web filtering,” Machfud added. “It’s about justice in doing business. Indonesia shouldn’t be treated like a cash cow.”

RIM is not required to pay taxes in Indonesia because it is not involved in the retail sale of its phones in the country.

Instead, BlackBerrys are imported by authorized local agents, who pay the requisite customs and excise fees and government sales taxes for the phones, as well as their own corporate taxes.

Gee. That sounds like a form of blackmail. In my mind, it’s a little simplistic for Sembiring to think that RIM is pilfering the country’s wealth and offering nothing in return. But what do I know.

Methinks that Indonesia needs to get a clue and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

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