Indonesian internet users are on the move to save the internet from “repressive” regulations crafted by the Ministry of Communication and Information (Depkominfo).
Last February 11 the ministry website published a press release stating the agency's firm stance against the increasing cases of public misconduct on the Internet. It was also mentioned that the Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo), Tifatul Sembiring, wishes to regulate Internet Multimedia Content in the country.
The draft [id] regulation suggests that Mr. Sembiring will appoint a group of 30 people who will join the Multimedia Content Screening team. The team's works will include the filing of reports on websites suspected of having “bad” content, verifying these reports, imposing fines, revoking permits, etc.
The draft regulation is purportedly against pornography and gambling but it may also target social networking sites and other online media tools which are are seen as today's powerful tools in educating the public about free speech and freedom of expression, as well as advocating good governance and democracy.
The “draconian” draft is being opposed by Mahfud MD, the head of the Constitutional Court, who claims that the regulation would be considered as unconstitutional [id] because it violates press freedom.
Speaking to Global Voices author, blogger and IT expert Enda Nasution said that the draft regulation doesn't reflect the people's interest.
“Indonesia is currently the freest country in the region, when it comes to freedom of expression and we want to keep it that way…
“Indonesia's Firewall is the last thing we want and need right now, we'll fight for an open and free internet. This draft is a half baked regulation and a remains from 2006 administration. Having it now is a
reactive efforts and pointless. Indonesia need a more comprehensive and well thought law when it come to Internet”.
Facebookers who opposed the draft pooled their opinion at SOS Internet Indonesia Facebook page. The page now has more than 9,000 members.
Nurina Nurinaa: peraturan ini dibuat hanya untuk melindungi beberapa pihak yang “ketakutan” terhadap masyarakat yang mulai ekspresif dan mulai melek internet.. kenapa nggak cabut aja semua layanan internet dan kita semua pake telepon benang biar makin semrawut sekalian… dikit-dikit haram, dikit-dikit dilarang.. benernya ini negara apa penjara sih? >.<
Budi Lesmana: Pemerintah gak mau capek, RPM ini bukti dari malasnya pemerintah, dia gak mau capek2 ngurusin masyarakatnya satu2, makanya yg diincer content providernya.
Ancilla Irwan: secara konsep, program internet sehat memang baik. namun sungguh, bila ditilik lebih dalam mengenai konten dari rancangan peraturan yang dimaksudkan, rasanya masih perlu deskripsi yang lebih jelas biar tidak sekedar menjadi ‘dirigen’ untuk ‘mengatur suara'…
Twitterers pool their opinions on #tolakrpmkonten (reject Ministerial Regulation draft on internet content).
@kennedymuslim: Si Tiffie slm ini sok legowo thd kritik di Twitter, pdhl diem2 bkn RUU utk menjerat pengkritik. Main blkg
@vindoarga: pak @tifsembiring ,jangan ubah indonesia menjadi seperti iran atau china #tolakrpmkonten
@Irmanski: Digaji k duit pajak masi aja gatau diri! Bikin RUU bukannya mengakomodir malah mengkebiri! #tolakrpmkonten
Concerned Indonesian netizens are encouraged to send an e-mail to the officials of the Ministry of Communication and IT before the regulation is endorsed on February 19.
Update: Following the outcry from the Indonesian citizens regarding Communication and IT ministery's regulation, President Yudhoyono made a statement at the State Palace on Thursday designated to all ministers, obliging them to report regulation draft to him through his cabinet secretary or state secretary.
The President was also encouraged a more democratic mechanism and to deal with the people with more sensitivity prior to announce any regulation to avoid future uproar. Following the statement, on Friday Minister of Communication and IT Tifatul Sembiring told the press that he intends to revize articles which clearly against civil liberties. However, he won't drop the highly critized regulation draft.