CANADIAN MOBILE FIRM Research in Motion (RIM) is preparing for a meeting with UK telecoms regulator Ofcom about how easy it is to access adult content on its handsets.
A report at the Telegraph says that Ofcom has summoned the firm to appear before it and discuss a "problem" with access at a meeting with a number of other telecoms firms.
"It was brought to our attention that there was a problem," an Ofcom spokesman told the newspaper. "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."
At issue is whether there are controls on the devices that prevent users from accessing pornography. The Telegraph talks of a "glitch" that is caused by Blackberry routing communications through its servers, and could prevent operators from applying restrictions.
RIM told us in a statement that it makes great efforts to place child protection on its devices and as a member of the Internet Watch Foundation blocks contentious URLs and offers filtering to its customers.
"RIM fully supports its operator partners around the world in meeting obligations and commitments in this important area. Content filtering support is available to operators from RIM that enables the operator to perform the content filtering function for BlackBerry smartphones," it explained.
"It is offered to our operator partners without charge. Operator partners around the world have implemented content filtering, including operator partners in the UK. Any reference to content filtering having been turned off is inaccurate. RIM continues to work with its operator partners to enhance content filtering for BlackBerry smartphone users."
The firm also provided a comment from T-Mobile, which offers its devices and uses its tools. "We have an agreement in place with RIM to provide a content-filtering solution to protect our Blackberry customers. RIM manages this on our behalf at a server level," said T-Mobile. "The agreement was initiated in 2006 when T-Mobile first started selling the Blackberry in the UK."
We have asked Ofcom to confirm the summons, as RIM was unable to supply any specific information about it.
Ofcom has responded to our request for comment, and said that RIM has already blocked some web sites at its request.
"Ofcom is concerned that inappropriate material may be accessible via Blackberry devices and is in contact with industry to ensure that this resolved as quickly as possible," added a spokesperson. µ
The other Google news of the week
Everyone clear the Aria!
And it's Samsung's thinnest and lightest tablet yet