Indonesia threatens BlackBerry shutdown

By Liam Tung on Dec 13, 2011 8:34 AM
Filed under Strategy

Anger over Singapore data centre.

The Indonesian government is threatening to block Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry Messenger and data services because it built a regional data centre in Singapore rather than Indonesia. 

The threats from officials, made in the Indonesian press last Friday, stem from the Canadian company's alleged failure to carry out one of four agreements brokered this September.  

According to the Jakarta Post, Indonesian officials believed RIM should have chosen Indonesia over Singapore since the former of the two had the largest user base in Southeast Asia.  

Spokespeople from the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulation Body and the nation's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology reportedly said they would shut down RIM data services in the country early next year.

The smartphone maker has faced similar threats from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India over the past year over government concerns of data passing through RIM's servers in Canada.

RIM's regional manager Gregory Wade told the Wall Street Journal the company was taking the Indonesian threats seriously but that it was also "getting mixed and contradictory messages through the media" about what the country expects.   

"We were surprised by the government comments we saw in the media," Wade said, according to Jakarta Globe reports.

RIM said in a statement that it was also working on providing Indonesian authorities lawful access, however a spokesman for the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulation Body said the nation wanted a RIM server to be placed inside Indonesia for security reasons.

RIM's Indonesian head Andy Cobham has also been advised not to leave the country after being named as a suspect over a customer stampede that occurred last month during a promotional sale.

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