RIM Shares Rise After Indonesia Porn Agreement

by Jordan Richardson on January 12, 2011

Yesterday I reported on news that Research In Motion was set to collaborate with the Indonesian government on the filtering of pornographic content from their BlackBerry devices.

On Tuesday, shares in the Waterloo company rose and closed higher by a total of 38 cents at $62.15 at the Toronto Stock Exchange. It seems word of RIM’s cooperation with an enormous market of potential BlackBerry users bodes well for the company’s fortunes – at least in the short term.

RIM’s compliance came after the Indonesian government threatened to ban BlackBerry devices if pornographic content wasn’t filtered out. With RIM on the outside looking in on one of the most powerful markets in Asia, fortunes wouldn’t have been looking up from a business standpoint. But RIM’s decision, the first time it’s ever agreed to filter content, puts them in the Indonesian market and that looks to be encouraging news for investors at this point and time.

RIM company representatives are scheduled to meet with Indonesian officials on January 17 to flesh out the details of the porn filter.

So far, similar porn filtering requests haven’t come from other countries. A report in the Wall Street Journal says that RIM hasn’t been asked by the Indian government to filter porn. The Indian government has wanted access to data on the company’s secure networks, however, and deals regarding that matter are ongoing.

We shouldn’t take that to mean that other filtering deals won’t be coming, of course. This arrangement with the Indonesian government could set a precedent that could have the company filtering out content in larger markets so long as bans aren’t put in place. What kind of path does this set for other companies operating in burgeoning economies? Will there be an expectation of content filtering attached with doing business in nations with more conservatives social mores? Is there a way to get RIM to block out Jersey Shore?

In any event, the details on what will be filtered in Indonesia are still to come. The Indonesian officials are said to be pleased with RIM’s cooperation on the matter, but they’re saving their larger praise for when the deal is done.

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