JakartaPost – Rendi A. Witular
Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring has urged Canada-based Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry mobile handset, to set up a data center aimed at helping law enforcers trail communication records of suspected criminals.
On the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Tifatul said all telecommunication operators, including those of international, and foreign-based banks were required by the existing law on information and electronic transaction to establish such a center.
The center will not only enable the government to monitor their transactions to verify their tax and other non-tax revenue, but also for our law enforcers to trace data related with criminals, said Tifatul.
Law enforcers will be able to look into the past communication recordings of a suspected criminal if theres an available data center here, he said, adding that data center for foreign banks was needed for law enforcers to help trace ill-gotten money deposited overseas.
The request came amid speculation that Indonesia might follow in the lead of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in banning BlackBerry services. India, meanwhile, is in talks with RIM over how information is managed on the devices.
A data center is a pool of computer servers containing database, application or network.
Unlike rivals Nokia, Samsung and Apples iPhone, RIM controls its own networks which handle encrypted messages through centers in Canada and United Kingdom.
This has made the BlackBerry and its messenger application popular as a secure way to communicate, but has also worried governments for not being able to tap into the network.
Spokesman for Communication and Information Minister Gatot S. Dewa Broto said the governments requirement for RIM was not similar with those demanded by Kuwait, India, UAE and Saudi Arabia, in which they demanded an access to Blackberrys encrypted messages.
We are not demanding an access to tap communications between Blackberrys users. What we want is to have access into the past telecommunication recordings of a suspected criminal, he said.
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