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BlackBerry says will abide by Indonesia porn access ban

An Indonesian vendor inspects BlackBerry mobile phones at a cellular shop in a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2011.

Irwin Fedriansyah/AP

Research In Motion , makers of the popular BlackBerry telephone and messaging system, said on Monday they would comply with an Indonesian government order to block access to porn sites from its devices.

Communications and Information Minister Tiffatul Sembiring threatened RIM's Indonesian browser service if the Canadian firm failed to block porn access by January 21.

He said also that RIM should set up servers in Indonesia and employ more locals, while questioning why the government wasn't taxing the company's local operations.

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"We're committed to the Indonesian market place to provide a solution that satisfies the requirements - particularly by the ministry," said Gregory Wade, director of Asia Pacific for RIM, after a meeting with Indonesian government officials on Monday.

"We're very much focused on meeting the timelines and deadlines that have been discussed."

Sembiring, a firebrand Islamic conservative and savvy social media user, posted on Twitter last week that Indonesia has 3 million BlackBerry users generating revenues of 2.27 trillion rupiah ($250.77-million), but yielding nothing for the state.

The figures could not be independently verified.

RIM gets an increasing share of its revenue from outside North America and Western Europe as it comes under pressure in its most established markets from Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android operating system.

But the firm has been hit by demands for access to its encrypted data from numerous countries worried about security and social mores - including India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

RIM says the location of its servers makes no difference to the ability to decrypt the data flow on its devices as well as giving access to for Indonesian legal investigators to tracking crimes.

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RIM operates in about 175 countries across the globe and Indonesia is one of its fastest-growing markets.

Indonesia, an emerging market investor darling last year, is trying to encourage more foreign direct investment and lift corporate tax revenues to reduce reliance on volatile "hot money" flows and to stabilize its long-term finances.

The Indonesian investment board said on Wednesday it expected direct foreign and domestic investment in 2011 to grow 15 per cent from last year to 230 trillion rupiah. Investors are interested in infrastructure, manufacturing and consumer demand.

Uncertain regulations, red tape and rampant graft have in the past often put off Western foreign direct investment.

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