Updates to this story
Research In Motion (RIM) revealed today that it has not been asked to filter internet content on its Blackberry smartphones in India, despite being forced to do so in Indonesia.
The Wall Street Journal reported that RIM sent out an email to the Dow Jones Newswires to state that it won't be following suit with internet censorship in India.
RIM has been involved in a dispute with the Indian government for many months over access to its encrypted call network and security concerns. It asked for extra time, up to two years, to address some of these problems, but it doesn't look like they're going away any time soon.
It also encountered trouble with the Indonesian government, which recently asked the company to block pornographic websites from being accessed on its devices. RIM said yesterday that it would do so as soon as possible.
This may have led to some questioning if similar restrictions would be brought into India, even though there has been no suggestion of such by either RIM or the Indian government. Something has stirred RIM into action, however, and it appears that it is pre-empting media and public speculation on internet filtering in other disputed territories.
The problem for RIM is that it may not have crossed the minds of many, so the company has effectively drawn attention to a non-existant issue. Now we have to wonder if there is indeed some concern within RIM that other countries, including India, will want it to filter internet content.
RIM went to pains to point out that the Indonesian agreement is the first time it has introduced this form of censorship on its devices anywhere in the world. The key word here may be “first”.