UK Telecom Regulator summons RIM executives to discuss underage viewing of porn on BlackBerry phones

UK Telecom Regulator summons RIM executives to discuss underage viewing of porn on BlackBerry phones
A problem in the telecommunications industry in the UK is so serious that the office of the regulator, Ofcom, has summoned RIM officials to a summit with UK carriers to discuss a glitch with BlackBerry handsets. The problem? The ability of underage UK youngsters to view porn on their BlackBerry phone. According to the regulator's office, "It was brought to our attention that there was a problem, It is to do with the way in which the BlackBerry operating system works. We are very concerned and want to get this resolved as quickly as possible."

The problem is that mobile carriers can block pornography to the Apple iPhone and other handsets like Android flavored models because the data that is received and sent by these phones first goes through the carrier before reaching the handset. But with BlackBerry models, data goes through RIM's servers first, which doesn't give the carriers the opportunity to block porn.

It is basically the same situation that forced certain countries like Saudi Arabia to threaten to turn off BlackBerry phones in the country last year as there was no way for the country to spy on email sent and received on BlackBerry models. When countries wanted to spy on non BlackBerry email traffic (for security reason, of course), they would get the content of messages from the carrier. But with BlackBerry phones, the carrier doesn't get the messages as they go from RIM's servers straight to BlackBerry phones. Recently, Indonesia said that it would ban BlackBerry service in the country if it couldn't spy on email messages to and from the phones. According to Crackberry, RIM had already offered a solution to the porn problem but only one carrier in the UK took them up on it and that was T-Mobile.

The underage porn viewing on BlackBerry has helped RIM's smartphones become popular among the youth of the UK. A large number of the 8 million UK BlackBerry users are under 18. For RIM, it is just another battle to be fought in what has been a very rough year for the Canadian based manufacturer.

source: UKTelegraph via Crackberry

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11 Comments

1. Firedrops

Posts: 254; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

What? Carriers can filter out pornographic data from their network? News to me. Anyways, it's not like the underaged viewers can't just download from their home/public internet and transfer it to their phone(be it BB, iPhone, Android or even a feature phone), or simply use WiFi for data, so this is a rather weak case against RIM.

2. IgorEfremenko

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

I'm sure it is not the British government's business to decide should younger users watch porn on their handsets or not. I'm not protecting porn anyhow but I guess it's pretty hard to accidentally load it. And if the users under 18 are already interested in porn it is their right to be able to get it. But only if it is their own intention.

3. IgorEfremenko

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

By the way it was just my own opinion on the porn problem. It's obvious that in the current case the government just wants to control user's traffic.

4. thelegend6657 unregistered

What's wrong with watching porn , I live in Malaysia and I started to watch porn when I was 14 .

7. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Dude, too much info

10. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Same here i started at 14 only difference is i live in the US . Im 24 already so that was a loooong time ago. ... porn to me was like drinking i was underage when i started doing both things porn at 14 , drinking at 17 cuz my family didnt care even tho the drinking age over here is 21.

11. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Same here i started at 14 only difference is i live in the US . Im 24 already so that was a loooong time ago. ... porn to me was like drinking i was underage when i started doing both things porn at 14 , drinking at 17 cuz my family didnt care even tho the drinking age over here is 21.the funny thing i got caught doing both underage and i got in trouble for watching porn not for drinking my dad told me i could drink all i want behind my moms back as long as i stayed home. But that i couldnt watch porn in his house at all period.

5. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Like everyone said UK Telecom must be filtering in some sort in order to obtain these information. Filtering personal data is controversial as Carrier IQ. Now about underage porn viewers, is it a UK Telecom issue?

6. digicon

Posts: 121; Member since: Aug 11, 2011

Who doesn't like Porn ? BlackBerry or not ? ? ?

8. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Umm, so what if BB phones can access porn sites, it ain't as if kids are too stupid to know how to unblock sites like that. What I just don't get is why there is such a big effort by everyone to shield their kids from stuff like this, it ain't a massive deal and its part of life. this ain't got nothing to do with BBOS, I bet when the people suing were 10 they werent exactly innocent in these matters.

9. ps1001

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 14, 2010

porn-ftw... blackberries-not so much....

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