BlackBerry under threat in Indonesia

2011-12-10 08:30

The Indonesian government threatened to shut down BlackBerry service in the country after the Canadian-based maker of the smart phones refused to establish a data centre or server in Indonesia, media reports said today.

“What we asked in September was for RIM to build a regional server here,” Gatot Dewa Broto, a spokesperson for the Communications and Information Technology Ministry, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe newspaper, referring to Research in Motion Ltd.

“Instead they built it in Singapore, and it was not even a server but a router.”

The government has consistently urged Research in Motion to build a server in Indonesia, which would allow Indonesian law enforcement to conduct wiretapping on the phones’ encrypted messaging system.

Last week, Indonesian police named an executive of Research In Motion as a suspect over the chaotic launch of the company’s newest device.

At least nine people were injured and several others fainted at a Jakarta mall last month when a queue for the BlackBerry Bold 9790 turned chaotic as thousands fought to be among the first to get their hands on the device at half-price.

BlackBerry enthusiasts were drawn by a 50% discount from the original price of 4.6 million rupiah (about R4 000).

More than 3 million people use BlackBerry phones in Indonesia, one of the few countries where the use of such devices is growing despite strong competition from Apple Inc’s iPhone and smartphones running Google Inc’s Android.

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