BlackBerry to filter porn content for the first time

Toronto: For the first time, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has agreed to filter pornographic content on its smart phones bowing to pressure from Indonesia.

The decision follows after the world’s biggest Muslim nation of 237 million people warned RIM that it shut down BlackBerry services and revoke its licence. Representatives from RIM will meet Indonesian officials next week to discuss the modalities of filters on its smart phones to stop people from accessing porn sites.

Though RIM has not confirmed it, reports from Indonesia say that the Canadian wireless giant has agreed to install a server for this purpose in Indonesia.

RIM said it is “fully committed to working with Indonesia’s carriers to put in place a prompt, compliant filtering solution for Blackberry subscribers in Indonesia as soon as possible.”

Indonesia currently has about three million BlackBerry users and generates about $250 million for RIM. Indonesia was among many countries, including India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, which last year demanded access to RIM encrypted data for security reasons.

On this positive news from Indonesia, shares of RIM rose 1.5 per cent to $62.69 on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Tuesday.

Breaking its bearish trend, the Toronto Stock Exchange also rose for the first time in the new year on higher commodity prices and better earnings by the aluminum giant Alcoa.

TSX’s composite index was up 155 points to close at 13,401.

Beating forecasts, the US aluminum company Alcoa posted net income of $258 million or 21 cents a share for the third (October-December) quarter and it expects a 12 per cent hike in demand for aluminum globally in the new year.

The Alcoa report pushed the metals sector two percent up on the TSX.

Maintaining its over-parity position over the US greenback, the Canadian dollar was also up 0.33 of a cent to close at 101.02 cents US. Analysts expect the Canadian dollar to stay above parity with the US currency for some time.

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