Feeds

Indonesia puts RIM on two-week notice

Demands the possible, and the impossible

Boost IT visibility and business value

Indonesian politicians are calling for RIM to provide lawful intercept and porno blocking, within two weeks, or face losing contact with the 1.5 million BlackBerry users in the country.

RIM has leapt to say that it would be delighted to do the latter, in the hope that its commitment will distract attention from the former requirement. Enabling lawful intercept to BlackBerry communications remains stubbornly impossible for technical, political, and commercial reasons.

Indonesia requires that internet service providers block access to pornographic content, as do those of most countries*, but because BlackBerry browsing is routed through RIM's servers in Canada, it is Canadian law that is applied. That should be easily fixed – placing a server in Indonesia resolves the issue – and RIM has reiterated how keen it is to comply with local laws in that respect.

But that's not going to help with the lawful intercept problem. BlackBerry messages are securely encrypted from the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to the handset, so interception is next to impossible. RIM can place a BES in Indonesia, but anyone running their own BES will bypass that and thus be able to communicate securely.

That's very hard for politicians to understand, so they call for local servers in the belief that it will solve all their problems. RIM could provide a back door into its BES software, perhaps for local use, but that would be commercial suicide for a company whose reputation rests on its security, not to mention that every other government would instantly demand similar concessions.

But that's not the politicians' problem, and RIM constantly faces an uphill battle getting governments to recognise the limitations inherent in its architecture. Politicians would much prefer to paint an uncooperative foreign company riding roughshod over local sensibilities, as the Jakarta Globe quotes:

"We have repeatedly asked [RIM] to [block pornography] and we have given them some time. If they keep delaying, we will shut down their operation here because they fail to comply with our laws," said the Communications and Information Technology Minister – which is fine with RIM who'll be happy to comply with that request.

But the Minister, and the paper, clearly thinks that blocking of pornography and interception of emails can be lumped together, and will be disappointed to discover that while one is reasonable and easy, the other is all but impossible. ®

* The UK, for example, separates mobile providers. Fixed ISPs are required to block child pornography, while wireless ISPs have to collect proof of age before permitting access to anything pornographic.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.