x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Indonesia denies BlackBerry ban

Indonesia says it is not considering a ban on certain BlackBerry services, despite asking the phone's maker to open a 'data centre' in the country.

Indonesia has denied it is considering a ban on certain BlackBerry smartphone services in line with similar moves from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The communications ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto said the government had requested the maker of the popular smartphone, Research in Motion, open a "data centre" in Indonesia but there was no push for a ban. "It's not true that we're planning to ban BlackBerry services in Indonesia. We just recommended that they open a data centre in Indonesia so the data doesn't have to be routed through Canada," he said.

The spokesman was responding to media reports that Indonesia was considering following measures taken in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to block BlackBerry services including messenger, web browsing and email, citing security concerns. India is another country mulling restrictions because of fears BlackBerry's encrypted services, which involve data being routed through secure servers in Canada, could be used by militants or others for criminal activities.

Muslim-majority Indonesia has a problem with homegrown Islamic militancy but Broto refused to comment on whether the government saw BlackBerry's services as a security concern, saying only that there had been "no complaints". * AFP