The state of internet freedom in Indonesia declined during the coverage period, primarily due to the enforcement of Ministerial Regulation No. 5 of 2020 (MR 5/2020), which introduced a content moderation regime that threatens freedom of expression and user privacy. After setting a new deadline for compliance with the law’s registration rules in June 2022, the government temporarily blocked several platforms and websites that had failed to register. Meanwhile, government critics, journalists, and internet users continued to face criminal prosecution, violent attacks, and harassment in retaliation for their online activities. Internet access in the Papua region continues to be routinely disrupted.
Indonesia has made impressive democratic gains since the fall of an authoritarian regime in 1998, establishing significant political and media pluralism and undergoing multiple, peaceful transfers of power. However, major challenges persist, including systemic corruption, discrimination and violence against minority groups, conflict in Papua, and the politicized use of defamation and blasphemy laws.
- Internet disruptions continued to occur in the Papua region, often in the context of activity by the security forces and other sensitive events (see A1 and A3).
- In the summer of 2022, the government briefly blocked several international websites—including those of Yahoo, the gaming service Steam, and the payment processor PayPal—after they failed to meet new registration deadlines under MR 5/2020, a sweeping content-moderation law that forces platforms to take down a wide range of content and provide the government with access to user data, among other provisions (see B1, B3, and C6).
- In December 2022, the parliament passed a new criminal code that stipulates harsh penalties for speech-related offenses including the dissemination of false information, insults, and the promotion of abortion (see B4 and C2).
- There were fewer confirmed reports of state-sponsored content manipulation, which is usually spread by online commentators known as “buzzers,” than in past coverage periods (see B5).
- Journalists and activists were violently attacked for their online activities; in one case, a bomb exploded in the vicinity of a journalist’s home (see C7).
|Do infrastructural limitations restrict access to the internet or the speed and quality of internet connections?||3.003 6.006|
Internet penetration in Indonesia has steadily increased, driven largely by rapid growth in the number of mobile subscriptions. The country’s low number of fixed-line subscribers stems from a lack of infrastructure, which limits coverage and keeps the price of monthly subscriptions high.
In February 2023, DataReportal reported that Indonesia’s internet penetration rate was 77 percent of the total population, with the number of internet users increasing by 8.2 million between 2022 and 2023.1 Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), Indonesia’s central statistics agency, has reported a significant increase in internet penetration among households, with the rate rising from 57.33 percent in 2017 to 82.07 percent in 2021.2 The number of mobile phone subscriptions decreased from 370.1 million in 2022 to 353.8 million in 2023,3 due in part to recently enacted International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) registration rules (see C4).
Government projects are underway to improve internet infrastructure, especially in rural areas. 4 Although the main Palapa Ring project—a three-part network of broadband backbone infrastructure extending thousands of kilometers across the country—was completed in 2019, alleged funding and supply constraints have limited the development of additional base transceiver stations (BTS) that are necessary to support the project.5
The construction of 4,200 BTS sites, which was originally planned to be completed in March 2022, remains delayed amid alleged corruption involving the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI).6 In May 2023, the government reported that only 957 out of the planned 4,200 BTS sites had been built.7
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) announced plans to launch the SATRIA Satellite in the third quarter of 2023, with the aim of providing internet access to 150,000 public buildings, including hospitals, schools, and community centers, particularly in remote areas.8 In June 2023, after the coverage period, the satellite was successfully launched.9
The Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources reported 24 destructive earthquakes in Indonesia in 2022, some of which damaged telecommunications infrastructure.10 For example, after a November 2022 earthquake in Cianjur, mobile service providers reported disruptions at 118 Telkomsel BTS sites, 91 Indosat BTS sites, 63 XL Axiata BTS sites, and 12 Smartfren BTS sites,11 with some lasting for up to four days.12
Disruptions to submarine telecommunications cables and other such infrastructural problems are common, further complicating access to the internet.13 According to the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), at least 36 internet disruptions occurred in Indonesia in 2022,14 and 13 disruptions occurred in Papua between January and March 2023.15 SAFEnet research found that Papua remains a hotspot for infrastructure-related disruptions, especially when the government is conducting sensitive political, legal, and security activities in the region.16
- 1Simon Kemp, “Digital 2023: Indonesia,“ DataReportal, February 9, 2023, https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2023-indonesia.
- 2“Indonesia Telecommunication Statistics 2021,” https://www.bps.go.id/publication/2022/09/07/bcc820e694c537ed3ec131b9/s…
- 3Simon Kemp, “Digital 2023: Indonesia,“ DataReportal, February 9, 2023, https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2023-indonesia
- 4Norman Harsono, “Nearly Complete Palapa Ring Key to Boosting Digital Economy,” Jakarta Post, January 28, 2019, https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/01/28/nearly-complete-palapa-r….
- 5“Indonesia Completes Fiber-Optic Network to Bring Internet to Remote East,” Reuters, October 14, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-infrastructure/indonesia-c…; Fahmi Ahmad Burhan, “Kominfo Pessimistic RI Independence Signal This Year Even Though There Is a Palapa Ring,” katada.co.id, February 6, 2020, https://katadata.co.id/berita/2020/02/06/kominfo-pesimistis-ri-merdeka-…; Agus Tri Haryanto, “Indonesia Is Not Free for 2020 Signals Because the Government Is Not in Line,” detikinet, March 13, 2020, https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-4937033/indonesia-tak-merdek…; Akbar Evandio, “Additional Palapa Ring Development Meets Obstacles,” Bisnis.com, March 26, 2020, https://teknologi.bisnis.com/read/20200326/101/1218155/pembangunan-pala…; Leo Dwi Jatmiko, “Palapa Ring Project: Bakti Aims for New Tenants,” Bisnis.com, December 30, 2019, https://teknologi.bisnis.com/read/20191230/101/1185573/proyek-palapa-ri….
- 6“Budget Constraint BAKTI Kominfo 4G BTS Project in 3T Region Delayed,” West Papua Daily, April 25, 2022, https://westpapuadaily.com/budget-constraint-bakti-kominfo-4g-bts-proje…. Suhenda, Dio,”AGO digs deeper into BTS graft case after grilling Johnny,” The Jarkarta Post, March 16, 2023, https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/03/16/ago-digs-deeper-int….
- 7Kurniawan, A., TvOne, T., & Pangesti, R. (2023, May 21). Mahfud MD soal Kebohongan Proyek BTS BAKTI Kominfo: Laporan 4.200 Tower, Setelah Diselidiki Satelit Cuma 957 Unit. tvonenews.com. https://www.tvonenews.com/berita/nasional/124099-mahfud-md-soal-kebohon….
- 8“Strategi Lintasarta Hadapi Kesenjangan Digital di Indonesia,” National Tempo, November 11, 2022, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1655769/strategi-lintasarta-hadapi-kesen….; https://www.kominfo.go.id/content/detail/29278/satelit-satria-ditargetk…
- 9“Indonesia’s SATRIA-1 successfully launched into orbit,” June 20, 2023, The Jakarta Pos, https://www.thejakartapost.com/adv/2023/06/20/indonesias-satria-1-succe….
- 10Iskandar, “Kondisi Jaringan Telekomunikasi Akibat Gempa Cianjur: 2 BTS Smartfren Mati, XL Axiata Sempat Terganggu,” November 21, 2022, https://www.liputan6.com/tekno/read/5131558/kondisi-jaringan-telekomuni…
- 11Niken Razaq, “Pasca Gempa Cianjur Kemenkominfo Dan Operator Seluler Lakukan Pemulihan Jaringan,” Cyberthreat.id, November 22, 2022, https://cyberthreat.id/read/14849/Pasca-Gempa-Cianjur-Kemenkominfo-dan-….
- 12Saeful Nurcahyo, “Pasca Gempa Cianjur, Kominfo Pastikan Jaringan Telekomunikasi Kembali Pulih - Purwokerto Insight,” Pasca Gempa Cianjur, Kominfo Pastikan Jaringan Telekomunikasi Kembali Pulih - Purwokerto Insight, November 24, 2022, https://www.purwokertoinsight.com/nasional/pr-7095792567/pasca-gempa-ci….
- 13“Sea cable problems caused disruptions to Telkom internet network,” Antara, September 20, 2021, https://en.antaranews.com/news/190029/sea-cable-problems-caused-disrupt…; Sebastian Moss, “Internet Outage in Indonesia Due to Submarine Cable Cut,” April 13, 2022, https://subtelforum.com/internet-outage-in-indonesia-due-to-submarine-c….
- 14“Laporan Situasi Hak-hak Digital Indonesia 2023,” SAFEnet, February 2023. https://safenet.or.id/id/2023/03/safenet-pemenuhan-hak-hak-digital-di-i….
- 15SAFEnet’s Indonesian Digital Rights Situation Report Q1/2023 https://safenet.or.id/id/2023/04/laporan-pemantauan-hak-hak-digital-tri….
- 16“Laporan Situasi Hak-hak Digital Indonesia 2023,” SAFEnet, February 2023. https://safenet.or.id/id/2023/03/safenet-pemenuhan-hak-hak-digital-di-i…
|Is access to the internet prohibitively expensive or beyond the reach of certain segments of the population for geographical, social, or other reasons?||1.001 3.003|
Geographic disparities in internet access persist in Indonesia, with rural residents typically at a disadvantage, and the cost of service, particularly for fixed-line broadband, remains relatively high. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in 2022, a 5 gigabyte (GB) fixed-line broadband plan cost 6.13 percent of gross national income (GNI) per capita, and a 2 GB mobile broadband plan cost 1.1 percent of GNI per capita.1
Despite rising penetration rates and improved infrastructure, connectivity remains highly concentrated in the western part of the archipelago, particularly on the more urbanized island of Java. The disparity is evident in the information and communication technology (ICT) development statistics issued by BPS, according to which the country’s five eastern provinces received the lowest rankings in 2021.2 As of February 2023, 26.3 percent of the population lacked internet access,3 and 2,881 villages were not connected to the internet.4
In July 2022, leading mobile service provider Telkomsel began converting the vast majority of its third-generation (3G) networks to fourth-generation (4G) technology,5 completing the migration in May 2023.6 The process, which other telecom providers also undertook,7 presents a potential barrier to access for residents in villages without reliable 4G service and those who cannot afford new 4G-enabled devices.8 As of February 2022, Kominfo reported that 12,548 villages lacked 4G access.9
In 2021, Kominfo committed to allocating resources from the Universal Service Obligation Fund, which draws tax revenue from internet service providers (ISPs), to build internet infrastructure in rural and other underserved areas and subsidize internet access in eastern Indonesia.10
While some of the government’s internet infrastructure projects seek to narrow the geographical disparities in access, they have not always been successful (see A1).11 For example, in March 2022, police temporarily halted BTS construction in parts of Papua after Papuan independence groups killed eight people working on the East Palapa Ring project.12 In the same month, Kominfo indicated that it planned to continue development efforts, including by working with residents in conflict areas.13
Disparities in access also result from the high cost of internet subscription plans, particularly in eastern Indonesia.14 Affordable prepaid packages are not as widely available in underserved areas—such as Papua, Nusa Tenggara, and the Maluku Islands15 —as they are in more populous areas like Java, where Telkomsel faces more competition. Telkomsel also imposes higher prices in some provinces in eastern Indonesia based on the claim that the operational costs there are higher.16
There is a slight gender divide in internet use: according to 2021 data from BPS, 47.56 percent of internet users were women.17
- 1International Telecommunications Union, “ICT Prices,” accessed September 2023, https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/ICTprices/default.aspx.
- 2“Statistik Telekomunikasi Indonesia 2021,” Central Statistics Bureau, September 7, 2022 https://www.bps.go.id/publication/2022/09/07/bcc820e694c537ed3ec131b9/s….
- 3Karnadi, A. February 2, 2022. Many residents in these 8 countries are not connected to the internet https://dataindonesia.id/digital/detail/penduduk-di-8-negara-ini-banyak…
- 4Fikyansyah, Achmad. “2.881 Desa di Indonesia Masih Belum Punya Akses Internet.” 2.881 Desa Di Indonesia Masih Belum Punya Akses Internet - TIMES Indonesia, May 21, 2023, https://timesindonesia.co.id/indonesia-positif/455194/2881-desa-di-indo….
- 5“Telkomsel "Upgrade" Layanan 3G ke 4G di 143 Kabupaten,” Kompas.com, July 21, 2022, https://tekno.kompas.com/read/2022/07/21/09000077/telkomsel-upgrade-lay…. Bestari, Novina Putri. “Menkominfo Ungkap Alasan Matikan Jaringan 3G untuk 4G.” CNBC Indonesia, January 20, 2022. https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/tech/20220120111747-37-308968/menkominfo-….
- 6Indonesia, Cnn. “Sinyal 3G Telkomsel Dimatikan Total Bulan ini, Termasuk Jabodetabek.” Teknologi, May 9, 2023. https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20230509105112-213-947092/sinyal….
- 7Rahman, Adi Fida. “Sinyal 3G Tamat, Indosat Pastikan 4G On Terus.” Detikinet, January 4, 2023. https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-6498891/sinyal-3g-tamat-indo…. “Usai 3G, XL matikan jaringan 2G bertahap,” Teknologi, July 31, 2023. https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20230731182057-213-980110/usai-3….
- 8Lalong, F, “Willing to be bitten by mosquitoes for internet signal, students in remote areas of Matim hold ANBK in the middle of the forest,” September 19, 2022, https://www.posflores.com/pendidikan/pr-4414806301/rela-digigit-nyamuk-….
- 9Dio Prasasti, G. February 12, 2022. Kemkominfo: 12,548 out of 83,218 Villages and Districts Not Yet Touched by 4G Internet https://www.liputan6.com/tekno/read/4884963/kemkominfo-12548-dari-83218…
- 10“Government Increases USO Allocation for Village Connectivity,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, February 20, 2021, https://www.kominfo.go.id/content/detail/32821/pemerintah-tambah-alokas…; “The Minister of Communication and Information Wants USO Funds to Subsidize Internet Tariffs,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, July 31, 2015, https://kominfo.go.id/index.php/content/detail/5252/Menkominfo-Ingin-Da…. The Universal Service Obligation Fund is made up of a small percentage of the total annual revenues of ICT companies operating in Indonesia. The fund is managed by a Commission on Badan Penyedia dan Pengelola Pembiayaan Telekomunikasi (BP3TI) [Telecommunication and Informatics Financing Provider and Management Center]. “The Ministry of Communication and Informatics Manage USO Funds of Rp 2.5 T,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, May 28, 2018, https://kominfo.go.id/content/detail/13182/kemen-kominfo-kelola-dana-us….
- 11“Towards a More Digitized Indonesia,” EU-Indonesia Business Network, November 26, 2019, https://www.eibn.org/news/15/towards-a-more-digitized-indonesia.
- 12Henny Rachma Sari, “Buntut Pembantaian di Beoga, Kapolda Papua Setop Pembangunan BTS di Daerah Rawan,” Mendeka, March 13, 2022, https://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/buntut-pembantaian-di-beoga-kapolda-p….
- 13Agus Tri Haryanto, “Ada Ancaman KKB, Kominfo Tetap Bangun Akses Internet Merata di Papua,” Detikinet, March 17, 2022 https://inet.detik.com/law-and-policy/d-5988253/ada-ancaman-kkb-kominfo…; Ibnu Naufal, “BAKTI Berdayakan Masyarakat Jadi Penjaga Menara BTS 4G di Papua,” Inilah May 25, 2022, https://www.inilah.com/bakti-berdayakan-masyarakat-jadi-penjaga-menara-…; Costa, Fabio Maria Lopes, “Proses Pembangunan Menara BTS di Papua Tetap Berlanjut Setelah Penyanderaan oleh KKB.” kompas.id, May 16, 2023. https://www.kompas.id/baca/nusantara/2023/05/15/pembangunan-ribuan-mena….
- 14Tekno, How To. “Paket Internet OMG Zona adalah Apa? Ini Kegunaannya.” Kumparan, April 18, 2022. https://kumparan.com/how-to-tekno/paket-internet-omg-zona-adalah-apa-in….
- 15KUMPARAN. April 18, 2022. OMG Zone Internet Packages are What? This is the use. https://kumparan.com/how-to-tekno/paket-internet-omg-zona-adalah-apa-in…; Novia. March 21, 2022. IMPORTANT! Info on the 2022 Telkomsel Zone List that You Must Know. https://www.payfazz.com/masteragen-blog/penting-info-daftar-zona-telkom….
- 16Prihadi, Susetyo Dwi. “Alasan Tarif Data Telkomsel Dipatok per Zona.” Teknologi, July 23, 2015. https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20150723110708-185-67728/alasan-….
- 17“Statistik Telekomunikasi Indonesia 2021”, BPS, September 7, 2022, https://www.bps.go.id/publication/2022/09/07/bcc820e694c537ed3ec131b9/s…
|Does the government exercise technical or legal control over internet infrastructure for the purposes of restricting connectivity?||4.004 6.006|
Internet connectivity has been restricted during religious events in order to “avoid and/or ward off hoaxes and negative content” online.1 In 2023, the government continued to restrict smartphone data packages and video streaming in Bali during the Hindu festival of Nyepi, the “day of silence.” Fixed-line connections, however, were not restricted. The government has suspended mobile connections during Nyepi since 2018.2 Connectivity was unreliable in Papua on several occasions during the coverage period, often in the context of security operations and other sensitive government activity in the region (see A1).3
Residents of the village of Wadas in Central Java Province reported connectivity disruptions for three days in February 2022 amid protests against a mine construction project. Members of parliament who visited the protests also reported restricted connectivity. Wadas protesters reported difficulty accessing their Twitter accounts that week, though it was unclear how this disruption was accomplished (see B8).4
In October 2021, the Constitutional Court rejected a lawsuit contesting the government's decision to restrict internet access in Papua during protests in 2019. The court upheld the use of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law to restrict connectivity, noting its procedural components.5 The ruling overturned a precedent set by the Jakarta State Administrative Court in June 2020, which held that the ITE Law should only be used to restrict online information or documents that are “unlawful,” not to terminate access in its entirety.6
Most BTS sites and other components of ICT infrastructure in Indonesia are built by private providers. As a result, the distribution of BTS sites largely reflects the market positions of the major players. The leading mobile provider is Telkomsel, a subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia—a majority state-owned company that dominates the telecommunications sector and is heavily involved in infrastructure development. Internet infrastructure in the country is otherwise decentralized, with several connections to the global internet.7
The first internet exchange point (IXP), the Indonesia Internet Exchange, was created by the Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers (APJII) to allow ISPs to interconnect domestically. An independent IXP, Open IXP, was launched in 2005.8
In July 2022, the Pengelola Nama Domain Internet Indonesi (PANDI) and the APJII proposed the implementation of national Domain Name System (DNS) filtering technology, such as DNS Whitelist Nusantara and TrustPositif. This would enable the government to limit public access to certain types of content.9 Critics of the proposal likened it to China’s highly repressive filtering system, known as the Great Firewall.10
- 1“Cellular Operators Fully Support Nyepi Without Internet in Bali,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, June 3, 2019, https://kominfo.go.id/content/detail/16920/operator-seluler-dukung-penu….
- 2Ni Luh Rhismawati, “Layanan data seluler dan IPTV di Bali dimatikan saat Nyepi 2022,” Antara News, 2022, https://www.antaranews.com/berita/2730281/layanan-data-seluler-dan-iptv….
- 3Laporan tahunan Situasi Hak-Hak Digital di Indonesia, SAFEnet. 2023.
- 4Rani Rahayu and May Rahmadi, “Derasnya Penindasan Hak Digital di Wadas,” detikX, February 21, 2022, https://news.detik.com/x/detail/investigasi/20220221/Derasnya-Penindasa….
- 5“Constitutional Court Rejects Lawsuit for Termination of Internet Access by the Government”, Liputan6.com, October 27, 2021, https://www.liputan6.com/news/read/4695231/mahkamah-konstitusi-tolak-gu….
- 6“PTUN Jakarta Rules Internet Blocking in Papua and West Papua ‘Violates the Law,’” BBC News Indonesia, June 3, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/majalah-52901391; “PTUN Jakarta Declares the Termination of Internet Access in Papua Unlawful,” Safenet, June 4, 2020, https://id.safenet.or.id/2020/06/rilis-pers-ptun-jakarta-menyatakan-pem…; Abdul Manan, “Jakarta State Administrative Court Rules Government Internet Shutdown in Jakarta Unlawful,” AJI (Alliance of Independent Journalists), June 4, 2020, https://aji.or.id/read/press-release/1078/jakarta-state-administrative-….
- 7Dimas Jarot Bayu, “Slow Internet Even Though There Is a Palapa Ring, Jokowi Promises 4 Thousand New BTS,” Katadata, October 14, 2019, https://katadata.co.id/berita/2019/10/14/internet-lambat-meski-ada-pala…; Matthew Carrieri et al., “IGF 2013: An Overview of Indonesian Internet Infrastructure and Governance (Part 1 of 4),” Citizen Lab, October 25, 2013, https://citizenlab.org/2013/10/igf-2013-an-overview-of-indonesian-inter….
- 8Robbie Mitchell, “IDSeries: An Open Exchange: History of Indonesia’s IXP,” APNIC, August 26, 2015, https://blog.apnic.net/2015/08/26/an-open-exchange-history-of-indonesia….
- 9Prameswari, Ghina. “The Government Has Committed Serious Human Rights Violations Through Permenkominfo PSE and Implementation of National DNS,” Whiteboard Journal, August 8, 2022, https://www.whiteboardjournal.com/ideas/human-interest/pemerintah-telah…; Proposal from Indonesia Network Operators Group (IDNOG) Workshop and Conference 2022 https://www.idnog.or.id/en/download.html?f=MjAyMjA3MjkwMjE1NDAucGRm&id=….
- 10Ferdano, Javier, “Crazy National DNS, Indonesian Internet Access Becomes Limited?” GameBrott, July 31, 2022, https://gamebrott.com/dns-nasional-akses-internet-indonesia-jadi-terbat….
|Are there legal, regulatory, or economic obstacles that restrict the diversity of service providers?||4.004 6.006|
Connectivity is generally provided by large telecommunications companies, some of which are partially state-owned. However, in recent years, with increased demand, opportunities for other entities to enter the market have grown. The regulations governing entry are not excessively cumbersome, 1 though mergers may counteract the effects of competition from new providers.
As of May 2022, Kominfo had issued 2,612 telecommunications service licenses, 687 of which were ISP licenses.2 According to May 2023 data from the APJII, 864 ISPs were members of the association.3 The fixed-line market remains at an early stage of development, with only 14.5 percent of Indonesia’s internet users subscribed to fixed-line broadband as of 2022.4 The lack of existing infrastructure requires ISPs to invest heavily in development, so only major companies can compete in this sector. As a result, Telkom Indonesia has dominated fixed-line service.5
The mobile market is approaching saturation, and three providers serve roughly 90 percent of subscribers.6 As reported in May 2022, market leader Telkomsel, Telkom Indonesia’s mobile subsidiary, held 48 percent of the market, while Indosat Ooredoo accounted for 26.1 percent, and XL Axiata held 16 percent. Indosat Ooredoo merged with service provider Hutchison 3 Indonesia in January 2022, raising concerns about market concentration.7
- 1Based on interview with APJII Chairman, Muhammad Arif Angga, in Jakarta on April 6, 2023.
- 2”List of Telecommunication Operator Permits,” Jasa Telekomunikasi, accessed July 2022, https://sipppdihati.pelayananprimaditjenppi.go.id/informasi/data_penyel….
- 3APJII Member https://apjii.or.id/anggota/penyelengara?name=&legality=45 accessed on May 2023
- 4Yati, Rahmi. “APJII: Potensi Pelanggan Bisnis Fixed Broadband Masih Luas.” Bisnis.com, October 25, 2022. https://teknologi.bisnis.com/read/20221025/101/1591418/apjii-potensi-pe….
- 5“Indonesia Telecommunications Statistics 2019,” Badan Pusat Statistik, February 12, 2020, https://www.bps.go.id/publication/2020/12/02/be999725b7aeee62d84c6660/s…; Dimas Jarot Bayu, “Slow Internet Even Though There Is a Palapa Ring, Jokowi Promises 4 Thousand New BTS,” Katadata, October 14, 2019, https://katadata.co.id/berita/2019/10/14/internet-lambat-meski-ada-pala…; “Smartfren Already Has a Fixed Telephone Principle Permit,” Indotelko, November 16, 2016, https://www.indotelko.com/read/1479258058/Smartfren-kantongi-izin-prins…; In 2016, a new license to offer fixed-line broadband service was given to Smartfren, which operates MyRepublic. Enricko Lukman, see “Indonesian Conglomerate Invests $3.5 Million in Singapore Startup ISP MyRepublic,” Tech In Asia, May 21, 2014, https://www.techinasia.com/indonesia-sinar-mas-invests-35-million-singa….
- 6Counterpoint Research. “Indonesia Bets on 4G to Increase Mobile Internet Coverage,” July 14, 2022. https://www.counterpointresearch.com/indonesia-4g-5g-industry/.
- 7“Merger, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison Diminta Segera Lapor KPPU,” Investor.id, January 8, 2022, https://investor.id/it-and-telecommunication/277473/merger-indosat-oore…
|Do national regulatory bodies that oversee service providers and digital technology fail to operate in a free, fair, and independent manner?||2.002 4.004|
Concerns have been raised about the independence of Kominfo, a government ministry, in its capacity as a regulator since the 2020 dissolution of the Indonesian Telecommunication Regulatory Body (BRTI).
The BRTI, a more independent regulator, had been established in 2003 to ensure fair competition among telecommunications providers, resolve industry conflicts, and develop standards for service quality. In 2018, the BRTI’s authority was expanded to cover not only infrastructure regulation, but also issues related to online platforms. In November 2020, however, the government decided to streamline the bureaucracy by dissolving the BRTI and transferring its responsibilities to Kominfo.1
The Directorate General of Posts and Informatics Operations (PPI) and the Directorate General of Informatics Application (Aptika) oversee internet services regulation under Kominfo. The PPI is responsible for regulating posts, telecommunications, and broadcasting, and its mandate includes supervising private telecommunications providers, regulating the allocation of frequencies for telecommunications and data communications, and issuing ISP licenses. Kominfo restructured Aptika in 2018, reorganizing departments responsible for regulation, management of domain names for government websites, digital economy functions, and blocking and content removal.2
- 1“Through The Presidential Decree, Jokowi Disbanded 10 Non-structural State Agencies And Instituions,” VOI, November 29, 2020, https://voi.id/en/berita/21306/lewat-perpres-jokowi-bubarkan-10-badan-d….
- 2For information on the previous structure of MCI, particularly Aptika, see Ministry of Communications and Informatics, “Annual Report 2017,” July 2018, https://web.kominfo.go.id/sites/default/files/KOMINFO_Laptah%202017_Fin…; For information on the new structure, see “Regulation of the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Number 6 of 2018,” Kominfo, August 2018, https://jdih.kominfo.go.id/produk_hukum/view/id/611/t/peraturan+menteri…; For a summary of the new structure, see “The Ministry of Communication and Information Changes the Organizational Structure of the Directorate General of Aptika,” Antara News, September 3, 2018, https://www.antaranews.com/berita/744737/kemkominfo-ubah-struktur-organ….
|Does the state block or filter, or compel service providers to block or filter, internet content, particularly material that is protected by international human rights standards?||2.002 6.006|
Score Change: The score declined from 3 to 2 because the government temporarily blocked several platforms in the summer of 2022 after they failed to meet registration deadlines under Ministerial Regulation No. 5 of 2020.
Websites are frequently blocked for hosting what the government defines as “negative” content, a broad term used to describe material that is defamatory or that violates social or moral norms.1 In 2022, Kominfo ordered the blocking of 213,735 web pages, including 156,975 related to online gambling, 51,588 related to pornography, 1,887 related to online fraud, 1,266 pages that were identified as “negative” by government agencies, and a smaller number that were restricted for other reasons, including the spread of “fake news” and extremism.2 Previous data collected through OONI Probe Web Connectivity tests between January and June 2022 found that virtual private networks (VPNs), LGBT+ content, news media, and human rights content were also blocked, primarily through DNS hijacking.3
In July and August 2022, Kominfo blocked access to some major sites—including those of Yahoo, the gaming service Steam, and the payment processor PayPal—for several days. They were unblocked after they complied with registration requirements under MR 5/2020 (see B3).4
In June 2022, the government blocked the website and YouTube channel of Khilafatul Muslimin, an Islamist group that advocated for a caliphate, after authorities arrested the group’s leader and accused it of acting against national unity.5 The leader, Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in January 2023.6 Similarly, in May 2023, websites and blogs belonging to the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP), which had participated in protests that month marking the 60th anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of the Papua region, were also blocked under Article 40 of the ITE Law, which broadly allows restrictions on prohibited content.7
Kominfo stated that it had blocked 7,089 illegal online lenders on the recommendation of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) between 2017 and December 2022.8 In 2021, Kominfo blocked the platforms Snack Video, TikTok Cash, and VTube on the grounds that they engaged in financial and other services without OJK licensing.9 Pornography remains the most commonly blocked category of content, with nearly 1.1 million sites blocked between August 2018 and July 2021, according to Kominfo; 387,000 gambling sites were blocked in the same period.10 Kominfo blocked the LGBT+ dating apps Grindr and Blued in 2017 and 2018, respectively.11 The ministry confirmed that these apps were still blocked as of late 2020.12
Between 2016 and July 2020, the film and television streaming service Netflix was inaccessible to Telkom Indonesia and Telkomsel customers, despite the absence of a formal blocking notification from Kominfo.13 The ministry did not intervene when the provider first blocked Netflix in early 2016, claiming that the US-based company was operating without proper licensing and exposing users to violent and pornographic content. In January 2020, the Indonesian Consumers Protection Foundation urged Kominfo to force Netflix to remove negative content from its platform or otherwise block it.14 In July of that year, the service provider removed its blocking after Netflix agreed to fulfill some requirements, particularly regarding content and takedown requests.15
In July 2020, Kominfo stated that it planned to purchase more sophisticated technology to block more categories of negative content and websites.16 In January 2018, Kominfo launched Cyber Drone 9, a crawler system driven by artificial intelligence (AI) tools that is designed to proactively detect content violations. A specialized task force monitors the system and reviews the material it flags for blocking; the blocking itself is still carried out by ISPs. Each ISP may employ its own software for blocking and thus may deny access to additional sites at its own discretion.
- 1“Ragam Konten yang Bisa Diadukan Melalui aduankonten.id,” kominfo.go, August 16, 2017, https://kominfo.go.id/content/detail/10331/ragam-konten-yang-bisa-diadu….
- 2TrustPositif, “Overview: 2022,” accessed February 2023, https://trustpositif.kominfo.go.id/Statistik,
- 3iMap,“iMAP State of Internet Censorship Report 2022 Country: Indonesia,” https://imap.sinarproject.org/reports/2022/the-state-of-internet-censor….
- 4Randy Mulyanto and Leo Galuh, “Indonesia’s PayPal, Yahoo bans cast cloud over tech hub dream,” Reuters, August 4, 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/8/4/indonesias-paypal-ban-casts-….
- 5“Situs Khilafatul Muslimin Tak Bisa Diakses, Sempat Muncul Logo Kominfo,” June 8, 2022, CNN Indonesia, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20220608112250-192-806286/situs-….
- 6“Abdul Wadir Hasan Baraja Pimpinan Khilafatul Muslimim Divonis 10 tahun Bui.” Janury 25, 2023, Detik.com, https://news.detik.com/berita/d-6533247/abdul-qadir-hasan-baraja-pimpin…
- 7Websites include http://www.khilafatulmuslimin.net/ accessed on June 8th, 2022; https://ampnews.org accessed May 2023, and https://korankejora.blogspot.com/ accessed May 2023; Instagram, “Koran_kejoraa: MEDIA KORAN KEJORA…” May 4, 2023, https://www.instagram.com/p/Cr0VYXyPFGk/.
- 8Kominfo, Pdsi. “Menteri Johnny: Kominfo Blokir 7.089 Fintech Ilegal Dan Langgar Aturan.” Website Resmi Kementerian Komunikasi Dan Informatika RI, n.d. https://www.kominfo.go.id/content/detail/46284/menteri-johnny-kominfo-b….
- 9“Kominfo Blocks Video Snack Sites and Applications,” Kumparan Tech, Accessed July 2021, https://kumparan.com/kumparantech/kominfo-blokir-situs-dan-aplikasi-sna….; “Kominfo Blocks TikTok Cash, Turns Out This Is The Reason!,” CNBC Indonesia, February 10, 2021, https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/tech/20210210144545-37-222467/kominfo-blo…; “5 Fakta VTube, dari Diblokir Kominfo hingga Investasi Ilegal,” Kompas.com, February 18, 2021, https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2021/02/18/063100665/5-fakta-vtube-dar….
- 103Syahaamah Fikria, “2.5 million Internet Content Blocked, Majority of Porn Sites,” Radar Solo Jawapos, August 25, 2021, https://radarsolo.jawapos.com/entertainment/lifestyle/25/08/2021/25-jut….
- 11“List of 'Victims' Blocking Kominfo Throughout 2018,” CNN Indonesia, December 26, 2018, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20181226001641-192-356335/daftar….
- 12Isal Mawardi, “Kominfo Blocks 3 Applications Related to Prorn Content: Blued to Grindr,” Detik News, November 25, 2020, https://news.detik.com/berita/d-5269068/kominfo-blokir-3-aplikasi-terka….
- 13Initially, Netflix was reported inaccessible by Telkomsel users in January 2016. Fadly Yanuar Iriansyah, “Why Only Telkom and Telkomsel Block Netflix?” Tech In Asia, January 27, 2016, https://id.techinasia.com/talk/kenapa-hanya-telkom-dan-telkomsel-yang-m…. While there was no official notification of blocking from Kominfo, the Minister appreciated Telkomsel for blocking the platform. Eko Wahyudi, “Telkom Reveals the Cause for Not Yet Unblocking Netflix Until Now,” Tempo.com, February 24, 2020; https://bisnis.tempo.co/read/1311632/telkom-ungkap-penyebab-belum-buka-…; Yoga Hastyadi Widiartanto, “Netflix Blocked by Telkom, Minister of Communication and Information Issues Regulations,” Kompas, January 27, 2016, https://tekno.kompas.com/read/2016/01/27/20040007/Netflix.Diblokir.Telk…. Until January 2019, the platform continued to be inaccessible for Telkomsel users. Amal Nur Ngazis, “IndiHome Can Access Netflix, Telkom: Block Stay Applies,” Viva, January 21, 2019, https://www.viva.co.id/digital/digilife/1113717-indihome-bisa-akses-net….
- 14Agus Tri Haryanto, “Kominfo Urged to Remove Negative Content on Netflix,” January 16, 2020, https://inet.detik.com/law-and-policy/d-4861980/kominfo-didesak-copot-k…; “Kominfo Looks at Negative Content on Netflix Using the ITE Law,” CNN Indonesia, January 19, 2020, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20200119153634-185-466754/kominf….
- 15Bill Clinten, “Telkom IndiHome and Telkomsel Officially Unblock Netflix,” Kompas, July 7, 2020, https://tekno.kompas.com/read/2020/07/07/14190027/telkom-indihome-dan-t…; “Telkom Wants to Unblock Netflix on IndiHome and Telkomsel, These Are the Conditions,” Kumparan, June 6, 2020, https://kumparan.com/kumparantech/telkom-mau-buka-blokir-netflix-di-ind….
- 16Natisha Andarningtyas, “Kominfo Plans to Install Machines to Block Gambling Sites,” Antara News, July 13, 2020, https://www.antaranews.com/berita/1608038/kominfo-berencana-pasang-mesi….
|Do state or nonstate actors employ legal, administrative, or other means to force publishers, content hosts, or digital platforms to delete content, particularly material that is protected by international human rights standards?||2.002 4.004|
The government routinely requires platforms and content hosts to remove allegedly negative content posted by users.
According to Google’s transparency report covering January to June 2022, the Indonesian government sent 119 content removal requests covering 567 items; Google removed 86.6 percent of the content in question. In the second half of the year, the government issued 190 takedown requests concerning 1,995 items, and Google complied in removing 48.7 percent of them.1 The removal requests in 2022 mostly concerned “regulated goods and services,” privacy and security, and hate speech. Meta restricted access to 1,458 items based on requests from Kominfo in the first half of 2022, primarily concerning misinformation about COVID-19, “violations related to regulated goods,” and blasphemy. The company removed 42 items that fell into categories such as terrorist content or antigovernment speech.2 Twitter, later rebranded as X, did not produce a removal report during the coverage period.
In the second half of 2022, the short-video platform TikTok received 2,713 requests for content and account removal from the Indonesian government,3 and it removed more than 8.2 million videos from Indonesia while enforcing its own community guidelines.4 Reuters reported that between 2018 and mid-2020, ByteDance—the China-based owner of TikTok—censored Indonesian content on its news aggregator application, BaBe, that featured “negative” information about the Chinese government.5
In August 2021, Kominfo requested the removal of 20 YouTube videos and one TikTok video uploaded by Muhammad Kece, a former Muslim who regularly criticized Islam, on the grounds that they contained blasphemy.6 Kece was later arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison (see C3). In September 2021, Kominfo requested that YouTube remove a video deemed to promote LGBT+ content on YouTube Kids.7 Also that month, Kominfo announced that it was streamlining procedures for reporting content to social media companies by coordinating with other government agencies.8
Kominfo has demanded that some applications be removed entirely from app stores, or that certain pieces of content be blocked. In March 2021, the illegal app Snack Video was removed from Google’s app store on the request of Kominfo (see B1).9 In January 2020, the ministry announced that it had blocked 1,085 financial-technology apps from the Google app store in 2019, and 1,356 similar apps from other app stores.10
In January 2023, ahead of the February 2024 general elections, the General Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) formed a social media monitoring task force consisting of Bawaslu personnel, the General Elections Commission (KPU), Kominfo, and the Indonesian National Police's cyber team.11 The task force aimed to monitor social media and order the takedown of any content deemed to contain hoaxes or to exacerbate polarization (see B2 and C5).12
In February 2021, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Indonesian National Police launched a Virtual Police program to monitor social media and chat apps for hoaxes and incitement. As of April 2021, the program reportedly sent warnings to remove content to 200 social media accounts that allegedly posted hate speech and potentially infringed on Article 28(2) of the ITE Law.13 A civil society organization, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), reported that the warnings were mostly directed toward active critics of the government, and users immediately deleted content that was flagged.14
Platforms that do not remove banned content risk being blocked entirely. For example, Tumblr was blocked in March 2018, then unblocked that December after removing “adult content.”15
- 1"Government requests to remove content,” Transparency Report, Indonesia, Google, https://transparencyreport.google.com/government-removals/government-re…
- 2Facebook, “Transparency report: content restrictions,” accessed September 2023, https://transparency.fb.com/reports/content-restrictions/country/ID/.
- 3“Government Removal Requests Report”, accessed September 2023, TikTok, https://www.tiktok.com/transparency/id-id/government-removal-requests-2….
- 4Tiktok, “TikTok Community Guidelines Enforcement Report,” accessed September 2023, https://www.tiktok.com/transparency/en/community-guidelines-enforcement….
- 5Fanny Potkin, “Exclusive: ByteDance Censored Anti-China Content in Indonesia Until mid-2020, Sources Say,” Reuters, August 13, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tiktok-indonesia-exclusive/exclu….
- 6Emanuel Kure, “Alleged Blasphemy of Religion, Kemkominfo Takes Down M Kece's YouTube Account”, Investor.id, August 23, 2021, https://investor.id/national/260420/dugaan-ujaran-penodaan-agama-kemkom…
- 7“Kominfo Blocks 'I'm Not Homo' Content on YouTube Kids,” Detik.com, September 13, 2021, https://inet.detik.com/cyberlife/d-5722314/kominfo-blokir-konten-aku-bu….
- 8Leski Rizkinaswara, “Kominfo Buat Sistem Aduan Instansi untuk Percepat Tangani Konten Negatif,” Kominfo, September 21, 2021 https://aptika.kominfo.go.id/2021/09/kominfo-buat-sistem-aduan-instansi….
- 9Dita Tamara, “Vtube Disappears from playstore, Task Forece: We Ask for Blocking!,” Sonora.id, February 25, 2021, https://www.sonora.id/read/422574391/vtube-hilang-dari-playstore-satgas….
- 10“The Ministry of Communication and Information Block Four Thousand Illegal Fintechs Throughout 2018-2019,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, January 10, 2020, https://kominfo.go.id/content/detail/23740/siaran-pers-no-06hmkominfo01….
- 11“Bawaslu Bentuk Satgas Pengawas Medsos, Unggahan Bisa Di-takedown,” December 17, 2022, Tempo.co, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1669498/bawaslu-bentuk-satgas-pengawas-m…
- 12Shafira, Ima Dini. “Bawaslu Bentuk Satgas Pengawas Medsos, Pengamat: Berpotensi Batasi Kebebasan Berpendapat,” Tempo, December 18, 2022. https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1669640/bawaslu-bentuk-satgas-pengawas-m….
- 13Muhammad Rizky Pradila, “Firmly, Virtual Police Reprimand Hundreds of Social Media Accounts Regarding ITE Law Rules,” Pikiran Rakyat, April 16, 2021, https://www.pikiran-rakyat.com/nasional/pr-011782308/tegas-polisi-virtu….
- 14“Virtual Police Data Update,” Kontras, April 22, 2021, https://kontras.org/2021/04/22/pemutakhiran-data-virtual-police/.
- 15Jon Russell, “Indonesia Unblocks Tumblr Following its Ban on Adult Content,” Tech Crunch, December 27, 2018, https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/27/indonesia-unblocks-tumblr/.
|Do restrictions on the internet and digital content lack transparency, proportionality to the stated aims, or an independent appeals process?||1.001 4.004|
Regulations that grant the government the ability to restrict online content are largely not grounded in democratic principles and procedures. Research from the civil society organization Article 19 has found that opaque content moderation practices undermine user trust and may drive government regulation.1
Amendments to the ITE Law in 2016 strengthened the legal foundation for blocking content and limiting internet access.2 Under Article 40 of the amended law, Kominfo can directly prevent access to online content, or order ISPs to do so.3 Article 26 of the amended law also established a “right to be forgotten” for Indonesian citizens, whereby electronic system providers, such as Google, are required to delete irrelevant information about an individual on Kominfo’s request. The ministry, however, needs to provide a court order. Critics warned that Article 26 could hamper the public’s right to information.4
A 2014 decree under the ITE Law expanded official powers to allow the blocking of negative content on websites.5 A separate statute provides a legal framework for blocking content that is considered pornographic.6 The precursor of the amended ITE Law, Kominfo’s Regulation No. 19 of 2014 on Control of Websites Containing Negative Content, set technical guidelines for blocking web content. However, it did not establish transparency and accountability in blocking procedures.7
MR 5/2020, which took effect in November 2020 (see B1 and C6),8 requires private scope electronic system operators (PSEs)—defined as any foreign or domestic entity that operates electronic systems for Indonesian users—to ensure that their systems do not contain or facilitate any content that violates domestic law, creates community anxiety, or disturbs public order. After receiving a notice from Kominfo to remove prohibited content, PSEs have 24 hours to comply, or just four hours in “urgent” situations. PSEs that fail to remove prohibited content will be fined or blocked (see B6). In May 2021, MR 5/2020 was amended by Ministerial Regulation No. 10 of 2021 (MR 10/2021), adding an obligation for PSEs to register with the government within six months of the launch of a designated online system.
In June 2022, Kominfo announced that PSEs would have to register under MR 5/2020 within one month.9 In July 2022, after the deadline had passed and major PSEs including Amazon, Yahoo, Bing, Steam, and PayPal were still unregistered, Communications Minister Johnny G. Plate warned that unregistered platforms would be blocked.10 Several platforms were then briefly blocked, with the restrictions lifted after the companies came into compliance (see B1). In November 2022, the Legal Aid Institute Jakarta and Digital Freedom Advocacy sued Kominfo in the Jakarta State Administrative Court over enforcement of the law, claiming that it harmed users and relied on an “overly broad” legal interpretation.11
In early 2022 the government formulated a system of potential fines under MR 5/2020 for platform owners that fail to comply with content removal requests within 24 hours of a takedown notice, or within four hours for "urgent" situations; the affected operators would face fines of as much as $33,000 per violation.12 The proposal outlined specific fines based on a company’s gross revenues, its compliance rate, and the content type.13 Representatives from social media companies who attended meetings with KomInfo in August 2022 raised concerns that the definition of “unlawful” content was overly broad.14 The system of fines had not yet entered into effect at the end of the coverage period.
Kominfo shares the total number of blocked websites through official press briefings but does not provide further details on which sites are restricted and why. Four multistakeholder panels, established by the ministry to respond to public complaints about arbitrary and nontransparent blocking, completed their terms in 2015 and were not renewed.15 In addition to Kominfo, several other government agencies restrict online content under the ITE Law, including the National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN).16
- 1Article19, “Indonesia Country Report”, June 2022 https://www.article19.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Indonesia-country-…
- 2“Revised ITE Law Could Hamper Freedom of Expression: Researcher,” The Jakarta Post, October 31, 2016, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/10/31/revised-ite-law-could-ham….
- 3“Revised ITE Law could hamper freedom of expression: Researcher,” The Jakarta Post, October 31, 2016, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/10/31/revised-ite-law-could-ham….
- 4“Electronic Information and Transactions Law Amended in Indonesia,” Baker McKenzie, November 8, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20170109171800/http://www.bakermckenzie.com…; “Kominfo Will Issue 'Right to Be Forgotten' Regulation,” CNN Indonesia, October, 31, 2018, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20181031200550-213-343043/kominf…; The Right to Deletion of Information in Indonesia, Jakarta: LBH Press, 2018, http://lbhpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/e-book-RTBF.pdf; Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, “EU Court: Privacy Rights Trump Free Expression and Access to Information,” Center for Democracy and Technology, May 14, 2014, https://cdt.org/blog/eu-court-privacy-rights-trump-free-expression-and-…; Position Paper on Revision of ITE Law https://icjr.or.id/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/kertas_posisi_revisi_UU_I….
- 5“Article 7(1), Regulation of the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Number 19 of 2014,“ Minister of Communication and Information Technology, July 17, 2014, https://jdih.kominfo.go.id/produk_hukum/view/id/215/t/peraturan+menteri….
- 6Civil society and cultural groups challenged the law before the Constitutional Court in 2009 for its narrow and obscure definition of pornography and pornographic content, which includes LGBTQ+ content and folk traditions that expose the female form, such as the Jaipongan folk dance from West Java and Papuan traditional clothes; the Court upheld the law. Olivia Rondonuwu, “Indonesia’s Constitutional Court Defends Pornography Law,” Reuters, March 25, 2010, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-pornography/indonesias-con….
- 7“Negative Content Censorship on the Internet Cannot Be Refuted,” Indotelko, November 22, 2014, https://www.indotelko.com//read/1416628939/Sensor-Konten-Negatif-di-int….
- 8“Regulation of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Number 5 of 2020,” kominfo.go, May 2021, https://jdih.kominfo.go.id/produk_hukum/view/id/759/t/peraturan+menteri….
- 9“Kominfo minta platform digital segera mendaftar,” Antara News, June 22, 2022, https://www.antaranews.com/berita/2953833/kominfo-minta-platform-digita….
- 10Stanley Widianto, “Google yet to register for Indonesia's new licensing rules,” Reuters, July 20, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/technology/google-twitter-yet-sign-up-indonesia…; “Pendaftaran Penyelenggara Sistem Elektronik (PSE) Lingkup Privat,” Kominfo, July 29, 2022, https://m.kominfo.go.id/content/detail/43385/siaran-pers-no-308hmkominf….
- 11Rizki, Mochamad Januar. “Buntut Pemblokiran 8 Platform Digital, Tim Advokasi Kebebasan Digital Gugat Kominfo.” hukumonline.com, December 1, 2022. https://www.hukumonline.com/berita/a/buntut-pemblokiran-8-platform-digi….
- 12Fanny Potkin and Stefanno Sulaiman, “Indonesia preparing tough new curbs for online platforms -sources,” Reuters, March 23, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/exclusive-indonesia-preparin….
- 13Timmerman, Antonia. “Indonesia Will Enforce Laws on Content Moderation with Tight Response Time and Harsh Fines, Documents Show.” Rest of World, April 18, 2023. https://restofworld.org/2022/indonesia-social-media-regulations/.
- 14Antonia Timmerman, “Indonesia will enforce laws on content moderation with tight response time and harsh fines, documents show,” August 16, 2022, https://restofworld.org/2022/indonesia-social-media-regulations/.
- 15For the decree that contains members of the four panels, see “List of Inventory of Decisions of the Minister of Comminfo,” JDIH, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20171123224835/https://jdih.kominfo.go.id/p….
- 16Oka Anantajaya, “Amendment to the Electronic Information and Transaction Law,” MKK Newsletter, February, 2017, http://www.mkklaw.net/newsletter/2017_02_newsletter_en.pdf. ; Ihsanuddin, “Jokowi Signs the Presidential Decree, National Cyber Agency Directly Under the President,” Kompas, February 1, 2018, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2018/01/02/17103991/jokowi-teken-perpr…; “Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 53 Year 2017 Concerning National Cyber and Crypto Agency,” JDIH, May 23, 2017, https://jdih.bssn.go.id/arsip-hukum/presidential-regulation-of-the-repu…; “Presidential Decree Number 133 of 2017 Concerning Amendments to Presidential Regulation Number 53 of 2017 Concerning the National Cyber and Crypto Agency,” JDIH, December 16, 2017, https://jdih.bssn.go.id/arsip-hukum/peraturan-presiden-nomor-133-tahun-…. ; Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara (BSSN), “Duties of BSSN,” 2018, https://bssn.go.id/tugas-dan-fungsi-bssn/.
|Do online journalists, commentators, and ordinary users practice self-censorship?||2.002 4.004|
The government’s broad definition of negative content that can be blocked or removed and its intensifying pursuit of legal penalties for online activity contribute to an environment of self-censorship among journalists and ordinary users alike.1 Many social media users have expressed their fear of the ITE Law. According to an April 2022 survey from Indikator Politik Indonesia, 62.9 percent of respondents thought that today’s society is increasingly afraid to express opinions.2 A new criminal code adopted in December 2022 threatens to motivate self-censorship through its provisions on spreading false information, treason, and insulting the president, among other speech-related offenses (see C2).3
Increased online harassment, prosecutions, and technical attacks against journalists, activists, and news outlets also deter free expression and information sharing (see C7 and C8). Civil society organizations have raised concerns that the Virtual Police program will drive more users to practice self-censorship (see B2).4
Authorities have stepped up their practice of suppressing online discourse that is critical of the government by labelling it as hate speech, which could limit the willingness of journalists and users to challenge political leaders online.5
As the country prepared for general elections set for early 2024, digital rights experts warned that a proliferation in harassment by networks of paid commentators, or “buzzers” (see B5), may further incentivize self-censorship on political topics.6
- 1“Damar Juniarto, Executive Director of SAFEnet: Indonesia Stands for One Freedom of Expression,” Koran Tempo, June 20, 2020, https://koran.tempo.co/read/tamu/454348/damar-juniarto-direktur-eksekut…; Muhammad Hendartyo, “Attack on Papuan Public Discourse Deemed Threat Against Democracy,” Tempo, June 12, 2020, https://en.tempo.co/read/1352640/attack-on-papuan-public-discourse-deem….
- 2Moh. Khory Alfarizi, “Indonesian Political Indicator Survey: 62.9 Percent of People Are More Afraid of Opinion”, Tempo.co, April 9, 2022, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1580168/survei-indikator-politik-indones….
- 3Yaphi. “Dampak KUHP Terhadap Hak Informasi dan Berekspresi serta Pasal Multitafsirnya (1),” January 24, 2023. https://www.suarakeadilan.org/publikasi/36-suara-keadilan/276-dampak-ku….
- 4“Contrast: The Cyber Police To Be Activated By The Government Has The Potential To Mute Freedom Of Expression,” Kompas, December 28, 2020, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/12/28/14074121/kontras-polisi-sib…; "Expert: Virtual Police in Social Media, Residents Are More Afraid of Opinion Baca artikel CNN Indonesia," CNN Indonesia, February 25, 2021, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20210225165329-185-610933/pakar-…
- 5Firman Imaduddin, “Hate Speechm,” Remotivi, February 9, 2018, http://www.remotivi.or.id/kupas/444/Ujaran-Kebencian; Abba Gabrillin, “During 2018, the Police Arrested 122 People Related to Hate Speech on Social Media,” Kompas, February 15, 2019, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2019/02/15/15471281/selama-2018-polisi…; Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N. Howard, “The Global Disinformation Order: 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation,” Oxford Internet Institute/University of Oxford, Computational Propaganda Research Project, September 26, 2019, https://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/2019/09/CyberT….
- 6Kunto, Niysa. “As Indonesia’s elections approach, buzzers jeopardise democracy,” Southeast Asia Globe, March 16, 2023, https://southeastasiaglobe.com/indonesia-election-buzzers; “Being the target: Ananda Badudu,” Privacy International, October 23, 2023, https://privacyinternational.org/case-study/4252/being-target-ananda-ba….
|Are online sources of information controlled or manipulated by the government or other powerful actors to advance a particular political interest?||2.002 4.004|
Score Change: The score improved from 1 to 2 because reports indicated that content manipulation, often carried out by paid commentators known as “buzzers,” decreased compared with previous coverage periods.
Coordinated manipulation of online content by the government, its allies, and other political actors has distorted the information landscape over the past decade. Manipulated content and disinformation, which has spread online since the 2014 presidential election, continues to proliferate, particularly during moments of political tension or emergencies, such as protests and the COVID-19 pandemic.1
Research released in November 2021 indicated that political and economic elites, including figures associated with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party, continued to manipulate public opinion on social media through paid commentators, or “buzzers.” The research found that some buzzers were paid between 2 million and 7 million rupiah ($130 and $450) per campaign.2
Paid commentator networks manipulate trending topics and hashtags on Twitter, often to suppress hashtags that appear organically. After the passage of the new criminal code in December 2022 (see C2), a pattern of progovernment posts proliferated under the hashtag #KUHPUntukKemajuanIndonesia, or “Criminal Code for Indonesian Progress.”3 In April 2022, the antigovernment #MahasiswaBergerak (“students on the move”) hashtag and the progrovernment #SayaBersamaJokowi (“I’m with Jokowi [President Joko Widodo]”) hashtag became prominent as students protested the potential postponement of the 2024 general elections; both may have been supported by automated accounts.4
Previously, reports from the Oxford Internet Institute released in 2019 and 2020 had identified Indonesia as a country where buzzers and automated accounts manipulate information on social media on behalf of political parties and private contractors.5
Indonesia Corruption Watch, a think tank, reported in 2020 that the government had budgeted 90 billion rupiah ($5.7 million) to hire buzzers to promote the government’s policies.6 In October 2019, researchers at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute discovered a network of automated “bot” accounts based in Jakarta that distributed progovernment propaganda in Papua via multiple social media platforms and websites.7 Facebook and Twitter closed the accounts in question.8
In June 2022, the chairman of Bawaslu announced a social media task force that would surveil and prosecute political buzzers and counter disinformation more broadly ahead of the 2024 elections (see B2 and C5).9 Experts raised concerns that information manipulation could increase ahead of the balloting.10
A network of online news sites has also been utilized by political actors to spread propaganda. In January 2020, Reuters journalists discovered that the military was operating and funding a network of 10 news sites that published progovernment propaganda while criticizing dissidents and human rights advocates.11 Among their tasks was to mobilize support for the government’s response to 2019 Papua protests, including the state’s use of violence (see A3 and B8).
- 1"Highlighting the Buzzer and the ITE Law, Busyro Calls the Situation Moving to Neo Authoritarianism," Kompas, February 20, 2021, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/02/20/21210071/soroti-buzzer-dan-…; Margianto, Heru. “Buka-bukaan soal Buzzer (2): Seluk Beluk Memanipulasi Trending Twitter dan Percakapan di Facebook.” KOMPAS.com, October 9, 2019. https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2019/10/09/081024265/buka-bukaan-soal-….
- 2“The 'Playmaker' in the Digital Arena is Often Called a Buzzer,” CNN Indonesia, November 6, 2021, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20211105195614-192-717359/playma…; “Searching Needles In The Hastag : Peran Buzzer Dalam Mendistorsi Opini Publik,” LP3ES, November 5, 2021, https://www.lp3es.or.id/2021/11/05/searching-needles-in-the-hastag-pera….
- 3Kunto, Niysa. “As Indonesia’s elections approach, buzzers jeopardise democracy,” Southeast Asia Globe, March 16, 2023, https://southeastasiaglobe.com/indonesia-election-buzzers.
- 4“Demo 11 April: Perang tagar #MahasiswaBergerak dan #SayaBersamaJokowi warnai aksi mahasiswa tolak penundaan Pemilu 2024,” BBC Indonesia, April 11, 2022, https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/indonesia-61057508.
- 5Samantha Bradshaw, Ualan Campbell-Smith, Amelie Henle, Antonella Perini, Sivanne Shalev, Hannah Bailey and Philip N. Howard, “Country Case Studies Industrialized Disinformation: 2020 Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation,” 2020, https://demtech.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/127/2021/03/Case-…; Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N. Howard, “The Global Disinformation Order: 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation,” Oxford Internet Institute/University of Oxford, “Computational Propaganda Research Project,” September 26, 2019, https://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/cybertroops2019/.
- 6“Government Digital Activities: Reviewing Social Media and Influencer Budgets,” Indonesia Corruption Watch, September 1, 2020, https://antikorupsi.org/index.php/en/article/government-digital-activit…; “Measuring Reasons for the Jokowi Government to Budget IDR 90 Billion for Buzzers,” VOI, August 21, 2020 https://voi.id/berita/11723/menakar-alasan-pemerintahan-jokowi-anggarka…
- 7Benjamin Strick and Famega Syavira, “Papua Unrest: Social Media Bots ‘Skewing the Narrative,’ ” BBC News, October 11, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49983667.
- 8“Facebook and Twitter Close Indonesian Propaganda Accounts About Papua, Including Pro-Government Bot Accounts,” ABC News, March 6, 2020, https://www.abc.net.au/indonesian/2020-03-06/facebook-dan-twitter-tutup…
- 9Mantalean, Vitorio, “Jelang Pemilu 2024, Bawaslu Sebut ‘Buzzer’ Bakal Ditindak,” Kompas, June 14, 2022, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2022/06/14/12240301/jelang-pemilu-2024…; “Peddling Secrecy in a Climate of Distrust: Buzzers, Rumours and Implications for Indonesia’s 2024 Elections,” ISEAS, August 24, 2022, https://www.iseas.edu.sg/articles-commentaries/iseas-perspective/2022-8…;
- 10Asril, Sabrina. “Manipulasi Informasi dan Propaganda Kebencian Masih Akan Terjadi pada Pemilu 2024.” KOMPAS.com, April 12, 2023. https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/04/12/12111501/manipulasi-informa….
- 11Tom Allard and Jack Stubbs, “Indonesian Army Wields Internet ‘News’ as a Weapon in Papua,” Reuters, January 7, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-military-websites-insight/….
|Are there economic or regulatory constraints that negatively affect users’ ability to publish content online?||1.001 3.003|
Users do not face significant economic and regulatory barriers to publishing content online. However, financial sustainability concerns and registration requirements aimed at combating “prohibited online content” have created constraints on publishing.
Under MR 5/2020, all PSEs must register their systems with Kominfo (see B3).1 The law also requires PSEs based abroad to appoint a local liaison, and it allows the government to revoke companies’ registration and licenses if they do not provide electronic information, data, and system access to the authorities for monitoring and law enforcement purposes (see C6).
In February 2023, the government announced that it was drafting a regulation that would compel platforms and aggregators to pay news outlets for their content.2 At a National Press Day celebration that month, President Joko Widodo—widely known as Jokowi—instructed stakeholders to complete the draft within one month.3 The Press Council submitted the draft regulation to the president in March 2023, which will be finalized by the Kominfo.4 However, it had not moved any further in the legislative process as of the end of the coverage period.
Journalists from the Papua region often face economic constraints.5 In November 2022, the news site West Papua Media shut down because it was unable to cover its infrastructure costs.6 The outlet had previously suspended operations in 2018 for financial reasons before resuming in November 2020, after crowdfunding efforts generated enough money to support the digital security of its journalists.7
To combat online misinformation, the Press Council, an independent body, has created a verification process designed to help readers identify reliable media outlets. As of March 2023, there were 1,723 administratively verified media companies.8 Some media groups have criticized the verification process as effectively an extralegal form of registration,9 warning that such registration requirements threaten the existence of smaller alternative media outlets.10
- 1“Regulation of the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Number 10 of 2021,” Kominfo, May 31, 2021, https://adminjdih.kominfo.go.id/produk_hukum/view/id/774/t/peraturan+me…; "Indonesia: Repeal Ministerial Regulation 5 to protect digital rights," Article19, May 31, 2021,https://www.article19.org/resources/indonesia-repeal-ministerial-regula… ; “PP 71/2019 (PSTE) Berlaku, Platform Akan Didenda Jika Membiarkan Konten Negatif,” Kominfo, November 6, 2019, https://aptika.kominfo.go.id/2019/11/pp-71-2019-pste-berlaku-platform-a…; Cindy Mutia Annur, “Tak Ingin Diblokir Facebook Hingga WhatsApp Wajib Daftar ke Kominfo,” Katadata, November 5, 2019, https://katadata.co.id/berita/2019/11/05/tak-ingin-diblokir-facebook-hi….
- 2Reuters. “Indonesia Drafts Law Enabling Media to Receive Payments from Digital Platforms for Content.” Reuters, February 9, 2023. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/indonesia-drafts-law-enablin….
- 3Simatupang, Sahat. “Di Hari Pers Nasional 2023, Jokowi Singgung Regulasi Hak Cipta Pers.” Tempo, February 9, 2023. https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1689468/di-hari-pers-nasional-2023-jokow….
- 4Gunadha, Reza. “Dewan Pers Serahkan Draf Perpres Publisher Rights ke Presiden Jokowi, Diharap Tak Melenceng dari UU Pers,” suara.com, March 3, 2023, https://www.suara.com/news/2023/03/03/141911/dewan-pers-serahkan-draf-p….
- 5West Papuan journalists working online have described self-censoring to avoid persecution. International Press Institute, “Indonesia Urged to Address Press Freedom Violations in West Papua,” IFEX, December 15, 2016, https://www.ifex.org/indonesia/2016/12/15/press_west_papua/. Ad revenues that support media operations are frequently linked to powerful interests that could undermine independence. Pacific Freedom Forum, “Indonesia Urged to Fulfil Promises as Deadline Looms on Papua Press Blocks,” IFEX, February 13, 2017, https://www.ifex.org/indonesia/2017/02/13/papua_press_blocks/.
- 6[@westpapuamedia], “@westpapuamedia & westpapuamedia.info will be deactivated until further notice until new custodians can be found for the project, due to severe health issues for current custodian, and lack of donations to pay for infrastructure [Tweet],” Twitter, November 16, 2022, https://twitter.com/westpapuamedia/status/1592837222310772736?s=20.
- 7"Limited restart with live monitoring for December 1," West Papua Media, November 21, 2020, https://westpapuamedia.info/2020/11/21/westpapuamedia-mulai-ulang-terba…; "Donate to Support Media Freedom for West Papua," West Papua Media, accessed on July 12, 2021,https://westpapuamedia.info/donate/ “WestPapuaMedia Has Suspended Publishing, But We Can Be Back in 2019 with Your Help,” West Papua Media, 2018, https://westpapuamedia.info.
- 8“Data Perusahaan Pers,” Dewan Pers, Accessed March 5, 2023, https://dewanpers.or.id/data/perusahaanpers
- 9“Koalisi Wartawan Bersatu Minta Tatap Muka Dengan Kapolri dan Ketua Dewan Pers,” Radar Online, March 22, 2022, https://www.radaronline.id/2022/03/23/koalisi-wartawan-bersatu-minta-ta…
- 10“Barcode Media dan Nasib Media Alternatif,” Berdikari Online, accessed April 20, 2022, https://www.berdikarionline.com/barcode-media-dan-nasib-media-alternati…
|Does the online information landscape lack diversity and reliability?||3.003 4.004|
While Indonesia’s online information landscape remains diverse, concentrated ownership has limited the variety of content and viewpoints available in national and local media.
In 2019, approximately 47,000 media outlets operated online.1 However, the owners of some major media outlets are actively involved in politics, contributing to increasingly partisan online news. At the local level, many online outlets have become extensions of certain political parties, hampering their credibility.
Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram are now key sources of news, which has significantly eroded the market position of mainstream media.2 Indonesia is also home to a thriving blogosphere. Members of the growing urban middle class are fervent users of social media and communication apps, and local blog and website hosting services are either free or inexpensive.
Tools to circumvent online censorship are largely accessible, and Indonesia is considered one of the world’s largest markets for VPN services.3 However, research conducted in 2022 found that 36 websites providing anonymization and circumvention tools had been blocked (see B1).4 These resources continued to be blocked at the end of the coverage period.
In response to the increase in manipulated content and misinformation online, more than 20 local media outlets and journalists’ associations launched a fact-checking initiative, Cek Fakta, in May 2018.5 In November 2022, the Indonesia Fact-Checking Summit 2022 served as an information-sharing and collaboration forum for fact-checkers ahead the 2024 general elections.6
- 1“Of the 47 Thousand, Only 2,700 Online Media Have Been Verified by the Press Council,” Indonesian Cyber Media Association (AMSI), April 6, 2019, https://www.amsi.or.id/dari-47-ribu-baru-2-700-media-online-terverifika….
- 2There are 150 million active social media users, of which 130 million of them access social media via mobile phone. “Digital 2019: Indonesia,” DataReportal, January 31, 2019, https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2019-indonesia. Moreover, according to APJII’s survey, 89 percent of users accessed chatting applications, while about 87 percent accessed social media, Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII), “Results of the 2017 Indonesian Internet User Penetration and Behavior Survey,” APJII, 2017, https://apjii.or.id/content/read/39/342/Hasil-Survei-Penetrasi-dan-Peri….
- 3Rob Marvin, “Breaking Down VPN Usage Around the World,” PC Mag, September 21, 2018, https://www.pcmag.com/news/363869/breaking-down-vpn-usage-around-the-wo…;
- 4“iMAP State of Internet Censorship Country Report 2022 - Indonesia ,” Sinar Project, 2022, https://imap.sinarproject.org/reports/2022/the-state-of-internet-censor….
- 5See Cekfakta, https://cekfakta.com.
- 6"Indonesia Fact Checking Summit 2022 Perkuat Kolaborasi untuk Tangkal Hoaks Jelang Pemilu 2024," November 30, 2022, Tempo.co, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1662965/indonesia-fact-checking-summit-2…
|Do conditions impede users’ ability to mobilize, form communities, and campaign, particularly on political and social issues?||4.004 6.006|
Platforms and websites that facilitate social and political mobilization were largely available during the coverage period, and Indonesians regularly employ such tools to call on the government to change its policies and practices. However, online threats and harassment of protesters and others who use the internet to organize have constrained digital activism to some extent (see C7).
Despite frequent restrictions on connectivity in Papua, users across Indonesia have been able to mobilize online in recent years. Social media users have amplified protesters’ messages online and signed online petitions,1 while others have crowdfunded to support demonstrations.2 Change.org is particularly popular in Indonesia; in 2021, more than 18.8 million users signed petitions on various social issues, including child protection and environmental concerns.3 Pressure from Change.org petitions that year likely contributed to the military’s abolition of “virginity tests” for women recruits, a presidential amnesty for a professor imprisoned under the ITE Law, and the accreditation of low-paid teaching staff.4
Although protesters have successfully used online mobilization tools to advocate for change, some face pushback on their activism. For example, in May 2023, after the AMP protested to mark the 60th anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of the Papua region, websites and blogs affiliated with the movement were blocked (see B1).5 In November 2022, during a Group of 20 summit in Bali,6 civil society organizations canceled online meetings under government pressure; in one such case, 350.org Indonesia had to cancel online workshops concerning climate change.7
Residents of Wadas who had opposed a mine construction project in their area for several years launched a series of protests in early 2022, using social media to mobilize support and build awareness. In response, authorities restricted connectivity during a police response in February 2022 (see A3). Wadas protesters reported difficulty accessing their Twitter accounts that week, though it was unclear how authorities limited access.8 Separately, in 2020, several individuals who participated in or coordinated protests against a controversial omnibus law were reportedly doxed in reprisal for their activism.
- 1Anjani, Willy Medi Christian Nababan Ayu Octavi. “Ketika Gen Z Kian Kepincut Aktivisme Digital,” kompas.id, December 28, 2022. https://www.kompas.id/baca/polhuk/2022/12/27/ketika-gen-z-kian-kepincut….
- 2Riyan Rahmat Akbar, “Students Demonstrations, Protests on KPK Law Revision and Seven Pushes,” Tempo, October 2, 2019, https://grafis.tempo.co/read/1834/demonstrasi-mahasiswa-protes-revisi-u….
- 3“In 2021, Nearly One Million Netizens Win Petition on Change.org,” Change.org, January 18, 2022, https://www.change.org/l/id/tahun-2021-hampir-satu-juta-warganet-menang….
- 4Avit Hidayat, “10 Keberhasilan Petisi Online Bisa Mengubah Kebijakan,” Tempo.co, January 19. 2022, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1551814/10-keberhasilan-petisi-online-bi…
- 5http://www.khilafatulmuslimin.net/ accessed Juned 2022; https://ampnews.org accessed May 2023; https://korankejora.blogspot.com/ accessed May 2023
- 6"Organisasi Masyarakat Sipil Kecam Pembatasan Berekspresi Selama KTT G20", November 14, 2022, Tempo.co, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1656819/organisasi-masyarakat-sipil-keca….
- 7See discussion cancellation notification post @350id, November 6, 2022, https://www.instagram.com/p/CknF82EPNrT/.
- 8Rani Rahayu and May Rahmadi, “Derasnya Penindasan Hak Digital di Wadas,” detikX, February 21, 2022, https://news.detik.com/x/detail/investigasi/20220221/Derasnya-Penindasa….
|Do the constitution or other laws fail to protect rights such as freedom of expression, access to information, and press freedom, including on the internet, and are they enforced by a judiciary that lacks independence?||2.002 6.006|
Freedom of expression, including online, is nominally protected by the constitution and other laws, but the right is frequently curtailed in practice. The Law on Human Rights, which was adopted shortly after the country’s 1998 transition to democracy, guarantees freedom of expression and other fundamental rights; these protections were strengthened by the Second Amendment to the constitution passed in 2000. The Third Amendment guarantees freedom of opinion.1 The constitution also includes the rights to obtain information and communicate freely,2 and these are further protected by various laws and regulations.3 Indonesia ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2005.4
However, the constitution features language allowing the state to limit rights based on political, security, moral, and religious considerations.5 This wording provides policymakers with ample room for interpretation.6 The authorities’ limited respect for the legal framework guaranteeing freedom of expression is illustrated by the frequency of prosecutions for online activity, as well as disruptions to internet connectivity and blocking of social media platforms.
- 1Constitution of 1945,” Article 28E(3); “The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of 1945,” UNESCO, http://www.unesco.org/education/edurights/media/docs/b1ba8608010ce0c489….
- 2Constitution of 1945, Articles 28F and 28G(1); “The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia of 1945,” UNESCO, http://www.unesco.org/education/edurights/media/docs/b1ba8608010ce0c489….
- 3Among others, “Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights,” “Law No. 14 of 2008 on Freedom of Information,” and “Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press.”
- 4The ICCPR was ratified through Law No. 12/2005. However, to date the government has yet to review and reform laws to comply with the covenant’s human rights standards. “Ratification of 18 International Human Rights Treaties,” United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, https://indicators.ohchr.org/.
- 5“In exercising his/her right and freedom, every person must submit to the restrictions stipulated in laws and regulations with the sole purpose to guarantee the recognition of and the respect for other persons’ rights and freedom and to fulfill fair demand in accordance with the considerations of morality, religious values, security, and public order in a democratic society.” Article 28(J) of 1945 Constitution, as amended in 2000; http://www.unesco.org/education/edurights/media/docs/b1ba8608010ce0c489….
- 6In 2009, the Constitutional Court generally affirmed that human rights are subject to limits as long as the limits are provided for in the law. “Verdict Directory: Case Number 132,” Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, 2009, https://mkri.id/public/content/persidangan/putusan/putusan_sidang_132PU…. Other court decisions failed to narrow the definition of the broad considerations that provide for the state to introduce restrictions. “Verdict Directory: Decision Number 7,” Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, 2012, https://mkri.id/public/content/persidangan/putusan/putusan_sidang_7%20P…; “Verdict Directory: Decision Number 10-17-23,” Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, 2009, https://mkri.id/public/content/persidangan/putusan/putusan_sidang_Putus….
|Are there laws that assign criminal penalties or civil liability for online activities, particularly those that are protected under international human rights standards?||1.001 4.004|
Several laws impose criminal and civil liability for online activity. A newly adopted revision of the criminal code, known by the abbreviation RKUHP, has criminalized a wide swath of expression-related actions, including those that should be protected under international human rights standards.
The parliament passed the RKUHP in December 2022, imposing penalties for offenses including insulting public authorities and institutions; writing, promoting, or broadcasting information about contraceptives or abortion; spreading information about or associating with communism; distributing false or inaccurate information; and defamation.1 The law also expands the 1965 Blasphemy Law to include six broad provisions on religion-related speech, including the criminalization of attempts to persuade a person to be a nonbeliever in a religion.2 Critics including Indonesia’s Press Council argued that the new code could be used to punish critical journalism.3
Individuals who insult the president and vice president face a maximum of five years in prison and fines of up to 200 million rupiah ($13,000) under the RKUHP. Those who insult public authorities and institutions face a maximum of three years in prison and fines of up to 200 million rupiah ($13,000). Individuals who write, promote, or broadcast information about contraceptives or abortion face up to six months in prison and a fine of 10 million rupiah ($640). Individuals can face up to four years in prison for spreading information about communism, and up to 10 years for “associating” with communism. Those found guilty of distributing false or inaccurate information face up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of 500 million rupiah ($32,000). Individuals found guilty of defamation face up to nine months in prison and a maximum fine of 10 million rupiah ($640), while those found guilty of libel face up to three years and a fine of 200 million rupiah ($13,000),4
Provisions of the 2008 ITE Law have been used repeatedly to prosecute Indonesians for online expression. The law’s penalties for criminal defamation, hate speech, and inciting violence online are disproportionately harsh compared with those already established by the criminal code for similar offline offenses.5 Amendments to the ITE Law in 2016 expanded the scope of defamation to include content published unintentionally or by third parties, for instance through the tagging of Facebook posts with another user’s name.6 Private chat messages can also be considered violations, as the offense of “transmitting” defamatory content applies even when only one person receives the content. The article in question also broadly covers “all acts other than distributing and transmitting” that make the content accessible to others, exposing more users to prosecution. The maximum penalties for online defamation were lowered from six years in prison to four, and from a fine of 1 billion rupiah ($64,000) to 750 million rupiah ($48,000), but these penalties remained harsher than most offline defamation sentences.7
In June 2021, the government issued guidelines for implementing the ITE Law that aimed to narrow the scope of defamation and insult charges and introduce protections for media organizations.8 The guidelines do not appear to be consistently applied by local law enforcement bodies.9 Civil society groups noted that guidelines were not a sufficient substitute for direct revisions to the law.10
In June 2021, President Jokowi announced that he would revise articles of the ITE Law related to prohibited online content and add an additional article addressing “false information that troubles society.”11 The draft articles, which included a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 10 billion rupiah ($640,000) for “intentionally disseminat[ing]” information deemed false, are broad and vulnerable to misuse.12 In February 2023, the government proposed amendments to seven articles of the ITE Law, including new articles that would penalize people who spread documents or content with fake information,13 but the draft legislation had not passed by the end of the coverage period.
In April 2020, the National Police issued a directive allowing officers to charge individuals under the criminal code for spreading COVID-19 misinformation online. The directive also instructed police to charge users for online activities that insult the president and government authorities under the ITE Law.14
Other laws infringe on user rights. The 2008 Antipornography Law uses a loose definition of pornography, enabling bans on many forms of legitimate artistic and cultural expression.15 The 2011 State Intelligence Law prescribes penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and large fines for revealing or disseminating “state secrets.”16 This legal framework provides authorities with a range of powers to penalize internet users, though they are not all regularly invoked in practice.
- 1Law (UU) on the Criminal Code No.1/2023 https://peraturan.bpk.go.id/Home/Details/234935/uu-no-1-tahun-2023 “Indonesia: New Criminal Code Disastrous for Rights,” Human Rights Watch, December 8. 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/08/indonesia-new-criminal-code-disastr…;“RKUHP Explainer: All the Controversial Articles in Indonesia’s Criminal Code Overhaul,” Coconuts Jakarta, September 19, 2019, https://coconuts.co/bali/features/rkuhp-explainer-all-the-controversial….
- 2Andreas Harsono, “Indonesia to Expand Abusive Blasphemy Law,” Human Rights Watch, October 31, 2019, https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/31/indonesia-expand-abusive-blasphemy-….
- 3“Indonesia: New Criminal Code Disastrous for Rights,” Human Rights Watch, December 8. 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/08/indonesia-new-criminal-code-disastr…; “Press Council Asks Jokowi to Postpone Enactment of New Criminal Code,” Tempo.co, November 21, 2022.
- 4Law (UU) on the Criminal Code No.1/2023 https://peraturan.bpk.go.id/Home/Details/234935/uu-no-1-tahun-2023. “Indonesia: New Criminal Code Disastrous for Rights,” Human Rights Watch, December 8. 2022, https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/08/indonesia-new-criminal-code-disastr…;“RKUHP Explainer: All the Controversial Articles in Indonesia’s Criminal Code Overhaul,” Coconuts Jakarta, September 19, 2019, https://coconuts.co/bali/features/rkuhp-explainer-all-the-controversial….
- 5“Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana” [Indonesia Penal Code], available at International Labor Organization, http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/73932/105722/F-171178887/…
- 6“Response to the Revision of Information and Electronic Transaction Law (ITE Law): Five Crucial Issues in the ITE Law that Threaten Freedom of Expression in Indonesia,” Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, October 28, 2016, http://icjr.or.id/response-to-the-revision-of-information-and-electroni….
- 7Human Rights Watch, “Turning Critics Into Criminals: The Human Rights Consequences of Criminal Defamation Law in Indonesia,” May 3, 2010, https://www.hrw.org/report/2010/05/03/turning-critics-criminals/human-r….
- 8Pratiwi Agustini, “Pemerintah Tandatangani SKB UU ITE,” Kominfo, June 24, 2021, https://aptika.kominfo.go.id/2021/06/pemerintah-tandatangani-skb-uu-ite/.
- 9“The Pandemic Might be Under Control, but Digital Repression Continues,” SAFEnet, February 2022, https://mega.nz/file/rQYCiDhK#qtrw-wcS2zgJgRqS4ZDOOpbccJSaG9uwmBpel3KQD….
- 10“Pedoman Implementasi UU ITE Tidak Menyelesaikan Akar Masalah, Segera Revisi UU ITE,” KontraS, June 24, 2021, https://kontras.org/2021/06/24/pedoman-implementasi-uu-ite-tidak-menyel….
- 11"The Journey of the ITE Law which is Finally Officially Revised by the Government," Kompas, June 9, 2021, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2021/06/09/08283531/perjalanan-uu-ite-….
- 12“Pasal Baru UU ITE Rentan Disalahgunakan, Koalisi Serius Desak Pemerintah Mencabutnya,” Suara.com, June 11, 202, https://www.suara.com/news/2021/06/11/064317/pasal-baru-uu-ite-rentan-d….
- 13“Pemerintah Usulkan Tujuh Perubahan Materi dalam Revisi Kedua UU ITE,” Antara, February 13, 2023, https://www.antaranews.com/berita/3393369/pemerintah-usulkan-tujuh-peru…
- 14“Polri Terbitkan Aturan Khusus Soal Hoaks dan Penghinaan Presiden,” Media Indonesia, April 5, 2020, https://mediaindonesia.com/read/detail/301449-polri-terbitkan-aturan-kh…; “Indonesia Used Covid-19 to Silence Criticism of Government,” Reporters Without Borders, April 16, 2020, https://rsf.org/en/news/indonesia-used-covid-19-silence-criticism-gover…; Andita Rahma, “Coronavirus-Crackdown Aimed at Anti-President Smears, Hoaxes,” Tempo, April 6, 2020, https://en.tempo.co/read/1328272/coronavirus-crackdown-aimed-at-anti-pr….
- 15In 2014, for example, an art installation in Yogyakarta was shut down for allegedly pornographic content. “Dianggap porno, patung akar setengah manusia dibongkar,” Merdeka, February 10, 2014, https://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/dianggap-porno-patung-akar-setengah-m….
- 16“THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA DRAFT LAW NUMBER 17 YEAR 2011 ON STATE INTELLIGENCE,” ICJ, 2011, https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Indonesia-intelligence-l….
|Are individuals penalized for online activities, particularly those that are protected under international human rights standards?||2.002 6.006|
Users frequently face civil and criminal penalties for legitimate online activities. According to SAFEnet, in 2022 there were 97 criminal cases concerning online activities, involving 107 people. These figures represent a sharp increase from 2021, when SAFEnet recorded 30 cases involving 38 people.1
In April 2023, the Solo City District Court in Central Java sentenced Sugi Nur Rahardja to six years in prison for disseminating hate speech and blasphemy. He was charged under the ITE Law and the criminal code over a podcast he posted on YouTube in which he claimed that Jokowi’s diploma was forged.2
In April 2023, authorities in East Jakarta District opened a case against activists Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti because of a 2021 podcast uploaded to YouTube in which they alleged that the military had conducted illegal operations in Central Papua to “protect mining interests” linked to Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs. After Luhut filed a defamation suit in 2021,3 the activists were charged with “defamation under the Criminal Code, slander under the Internet [ITE] Law, and ‘spreading false news’ under the 1946 False News Law, which carry maximum prison terms of 9 months, 4 years, and 10 years respectively,” according to Human Rights Watch.4
In March 2023, the Kepanjen District Court in East Java sentenced Dian Patria Arum Sari to four months in prison and eight months of probation under the ITE Law. She was charged with spreading defamatory and insulting information after she used a 2019 Facebook post to accuse an acquaintance, with whom she had previously done business, of committing fraud.5
In December 2022, the West Jakarta District Court sentenced former youth and sports minister Roy Suryo to nine months in prison because he posted a meme mocking the president. He was charged under the ITE Law, and the prosecution announced that it would appeal the decision to seek a longer sentence.6
In November 2022, Gusti Ayu Dewanti, an OnlyFans creator, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined 300 million rupiah ($19,000) for her content on the platform, which the court ruled was in violation of the ITE Law and the Antipornography Law. She was charged after she appeared on a podcast and discussed her income from OnlyFans.7
In September 2022, the Central Jakarta District Court sentenced activist Edy Mulyadi to seven and a half months in prison for allegedly spreading fake news through a YouTube video in which she criticized the Indonesian government’s proposed relocation of the capital from Jakarta to Nasantara on the island of Borneo. The sentence was equivalent to the amount of time she had served in pretrial detention.8
In August 2022, the Makassar District Court sentenced influencer Dimas Adipati to 18 months in prison and a fine of 25 million rupiah ($1,600) for violating Article 27(1) of the ITE Law by allegedly disseminating LGBT+ and pornographic content on Instagram.9
In April 2022, a court convicted YouTuber Muhammad Kece of spreading false information and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment. Kece, who had converted from Islam to Christianity and regularly criticized his former religion, was first arrested in August 2021 over videos that Kominfo deemed to be blasphemous (see B2).10
In November 2021, Muhammad Asrul, a journalist with Berita.news, was found guilty of violating Article 27 of the ITE Law, which punishes defamation, and was sentenced to three months in prison.11 Asrul was detained for a 36-day period in January and February 2020 after being arrested for defamation as well as alleged hate speech under Article 28 of the ITE Law; he had written three news articles about corruption allegations involving the son of Palopo’s mayor.12
- 1“Laporan Situasi Hak-hak Digital Indonesia 2022,” SAFEnet, February 24, 2023, https://safenet.or.id/2023/03/the-digital-rights-situation-in-indonesia….
- 2Rusiana, Dita Angga. “Gus Nur Terdakwa Kasus Tuduhan Ijazah Palsu Jokowi Divonis 6 Tahun Penjara.” KOMPAS.com, April 18, 2023. https://regional.kompas.com/read/2023/04/18/135115678/gus-nur-terdakwa-…; Agus Raharjo, “Sentenced to Six Years in Prison, Gus Nur: It's okay, Allah wills,” Republika, April 19, 2023, https://news.republika.co.id/berita/rtc6bc436/divonis-enam-tahun-penjar….
- 3Leila Goldstein, “Prosecuted for a podcast, Indonesian rights advocates on trial for ‘online defamation’,” Southeast Asia Globe, July 3, 2023, https://southeastasiaglobe.com/prosecuted-for-a-podcast-indonesian-righ….
- 4Human Rights Watch, “Indonesia: Activists on Trial for Criminal Defamation,” April 14, 2023, https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/04/14/indonesia-activists-trial-criminal-….
- 5Defri Werdiono,“Warga Malang Divonis Bersalah Cemarkan Nama Baik di Facebook [Malang Resident Found Guilty of Defaming Good Name on Facebook],” Kompas, March 21, 2023, https://www.kompas.id/baca/nusantara/2023/03/21/warga-malang-divonis-be….
- 6Eko Ari Wibowo, “Roy Suryo Sentenced to 9 Months in Prison in Meme Stupa Hate Speech Case,” Tempo, December 28, 2022, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1673326/roy-suryo-divonis-9-bulan-penjar….
- 7Moch Ilham, “Divonis 10 Bulan, Dea OnlyFans Ikhlas [Sentenced to 10 Months, Dea OnlyFans Ikhlas],” Surabayapagi, November 18, 2022, https://surabayapagi.com/read/divonis-10-bulan-dea-onlyfans-ikhlas.
- 8Arie Dwi Satrio, “Kasus Kalimantan Tempat Jin Buang Anak, Edy Mulyadi Divonis 7,5 Bulan Penjara [Kalimantan Case Where Jin Abandoned Child, Edy Mulyadi Sentenced to 7.5 Months in Prison],” Sindonews, September 12, 2022, https://nasional.sindonews.com/read/882771/13/kasus-kalimantan-tempat-j….
- 9"Sebarkan Konten LGBT, Selebgram di Makassar Divonis 1,5 Tahun Bui," CNN Indonesia, August 11, 2022, https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20220811122237-12-833307/sebarkan…; Isak Pasa, “Makassar celebgram Dimas Adipati Sentenced to 18 Months Jail in Pornography Case,” DetikSulsel, August 13, 2022, https://www.detik.com/sulsel/hukum-dan-kriminal/d-6231988/selebgram-mak….
- 10Tito Dirhantoro, “Penista Agama M Kece Divonis 10 Tahun Penjara, Hakim: Perbuatannya Meresahkan Umat Islam Sedunia,” Kompas, April 7, 2022, https://www.kompas.tv/article/277603/penista-agama-m-kece-divonis-10-ta…; “Ditangkap di Bali, Siapakah Youtuber Muhammad Kece?,” Kompas, August 25, 2021, https://regional.kompas.com/read/2021/08/25/161000578/ditangkap-di-bali….
- 11"Vonis 3 Bulan Terhadap Jurnalis Asrul Ciderai Kemerdekaan Pers," Jawapos, November 25, 2021, https://www.jawapos.com/nasional/25/11/2021/vonis-3-bulan-terhadap-jurn…
- 12“Komite Desak Polda Sulsel Lepaskan Jurnalis Muhammad Asrul,” tirto.id, February 16, 2020, https://tirto.id/eznL https://tirto.id/komite-desak-polda-sulsel-lepaskan-jurnalis-muhammad-a…; “Journalist Safety Committee Condemns the Criminalization of Journalists with the ITE Law,” SAFEnet, February 18, 2020, https://id.safenet.or.id/2020/02/rilis-pers-komite-keselamatan-jurnalis….
|Does the government place restrictions on anonymous communication or encryption?||3.003 4.004|
Anonymous communication is somewhat restricted but not formally prohibited by law. Users have access to encrypted services, though some Kominfo policies and other regulations have indicated the government’s interest in gaining backdoor access to encrypted communication and personal data.
Since 2005, Kominfo has nominally required mobile phone users to register their phone numbers with the government by text message when they buy a phone. This rule was widely ignored for years, but in 2017, Kominfo introduced a new regulation requiring SIM card users to register by submitting their national identity numbers and their family registration numbers, thereby limiting anonymity.1 Beginning in late February 2018, failure to comply with this requirement could lead to the temporary blocking of data services to the unregistered SIM cards. If users fail to register within 15 days of the block’s initiation, the SIM cards can be permanently blocked from any telecommunications services. In 2020, the government announced a plan to roll out the use of biometric data for SIM card registration in 2021,2 but there were no updates on the implementation of this plan during the coverage period.
The government mandates IMEI registration for devices purchased outside of the country. Since April 2020, unregistered devices have been prevented from connecting to networks.3
- 1MCI regulation no. 14/2017 on the amendment of the Ministry of Communication and Information Regulation no. 12/2016 on registration of telecommunication service subscribers, https://web.kominfo.go.id/sites/default/files/users/4761/1505109064-PM_…. In Indonesia, each citizen is registered both through a national identity number and as a family unit through family card registration numbers. These are basic civic data to access most public services provided by the government.
- 2“Perbuahan Atas Peraturan Menteri Komunikasi Dan Informatika,” https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/news/20200210133711-8-136654/brtikolabora…; “Cegah Kasus Ilham Bintang Terulang, Registrasi SIM Card Bakal Pakai Biometrik,” Kompas, January 22, 2020, https://tekno.kompas.com/read/2020/01/22/18052477/cegah-kasus-ilham-bin….
- 3“Aturan Daftar IMEI untuk Ponsel Rp7 Juta ke atas dari Luar Negeri,” Tirto, February 28, 2020, https://tirto.id/aturan-daftar-imei-untuk-ponsel-rp7-juta-ke-atas-dari-….
|Does state surveillance of internet activities infringe on users’ right to privacy?||2.002 6.006|
Government surveillance of online activities limits the right to privacy. Although this right is constitutionally guaranteed, no specific law stipulates its protection.
Article 40 of Law No. 46 of 1999 on Post and Telecommunication prohibits the interception of information transmitted through any form of telecommunications.1 However, at least 10 other laws, including the ITE Law and seven executive regulations, allow certain government or law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance.2 The agencies in question range from the National Narcotics Board and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).3 The laws do not clearly define the scope of interception, despite a 2010 Constitutional Court decision that requires government agencies to have detailed and regulated interception procedures.4 The legal framework also fails to provide for judicial or parliamentary oversight of surveillance activity and remedies for those who allege abuse.
The 2016 amendments to the ITE Law revised some provisions governing interception in response to the 2010 Constitutional Court decision, introducing penalties for interception conducted outside the context of law enforcement. The government indicated that further details concerning interception procedures would be addressed in future regulations.5
In May 2018, the parliament adopted amendments to the 2003 Eradication of Criminal Acts of Terrorism Law (CT Law) that gave authorities sweeping surveillance powers to fight terrorism, which is broadly defined. Article 31 permits security officials to “intercept any conversation by telephone or other means of communication suspected of being used to prepare, plan, and commit a criminal act of terrorism.”
Authorities monitor social media platforms. In preparation for the 2019 elections, Kominfo created a “war room” in October 2018 that employed 70 engineers tasked with monitoring social media platforms in real time.6 Kominfo reported that it would “take action” if it found that users had violated the ITE Law. In January 2018, the BSSN reportedly began to formalize its response to cyberthreats, which included a social media program.7 Ahead of the 2024 elections, Bawaslu formed a social media task force to monitor content and false information, which could raise surveillance concerns (see B2 and B4).8
Reports have linked authorities to the purchase and use of spyware and other sophisticated surveillance tools. Government officials and agencies have also been targeted with these tools.
A March 2023 report by Citizen Lab, a research center at the University of Toronto, found that QuaDream, an Israeli spyware company, had attempted to sell its products to the Indonesian government.9
In September 2022, Reuters reported that several high-ranking government and military officials in Indonesia were allegedly targeted in 2021 with FORCEDENTRY, a tool developed by the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group to attack targets with its Pegasus spyware. Apple notified the officials in November 2021 that they had been targeted by this mechanism, which enables attackers to gain full access to iPhones.10 In June 2023, after the coverage period, reports emerged that government agencies, including the BIN, have used Pegasus spyware to surveil opposition politicians and activists.11
In December 2021, Citizen Lab identified the Indonesian government as a likely customer of Cytrox, which sells the Predator spyware tool.12 Citizen Lab reported in December 2020 that Indonesia had likely purchased Circles spyware technology.13 The Indonesian government has reportedly used FinFisher spyware, which collects data such as Skype audio, key logs, and screenshots;14 international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) catchers purchased from Swiss and British companies;15 and surveillance products from the US-Israeli company Verint to track LGBT+ rights activists and members of religious minorities.16
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, officials rolled out the application PeduliLindungi (Care Protect), which pulled location data—using Bluetooth proximity tracking—to facilitate contact tracing and allowed users to register for and obtain certification of their vaccinations.17 The app had 105 million registered users.18 In March 2023, the Ministry of Health rebranded the application as SatuSehat (One Health), explaining that it would shift to offering more general health services.19
- 1Andylala Waluyo, “Pemerintah Selidiki Telkomsel dan Indosat Terkait Isu Penyadapan,” Voice of America, February 19, 2014, https://www.voaindonesia.com/a/pemerintah-selidiki-telkomsel-dan-indosa….
- 2For a full list of the laws, see Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono and Erasmus A. T. Napitupulu, “Komentar Atas Pengaturan Penyadapan Dalam Rancangan,” KUHAP, ICJR, policy paper, October 2013, https://web.archive.org/web/20141220085634/http://kuhap.or.id/data/wp-c….
- 3With the issuance of Law 19/2019 on KPK to revise the previous Law 30/2002, the authority to grant surveillance/tapping operation is no longer with the KPK Chairman but under the Supervisory Board. This change limits the authority of the KPK Chairman to only an administrative function, which is considered as weakening the authority and independency of KPK to fight against corruption. The law was passed within 13 working days and with minimum to no public consultation and thus was widely opposed by the public. The law is undergoing judicial review at the Constitutional Court. “Revised KPK Law May Weaken Anti-Graft Body's Authority: Vice Chairman,” Jakarta Post, September 17, 2019, https://en.antaranews.com/news/132928/revised-kpk-law-may-weaken-anti-g…; “Constitutional Court Probes Why KPK Bill Got Speedy Treatment,” Jakarta Post, February 4, 2020, https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/04/constitutional-court-pro….
- 4For the Constitutional Court decision, see Nomor 5/PUU-VIII/2010, https://mkri.id/public/content/persidangan/putusan/Putusan%20%205_PUU_V….
- 5“’Interception’ Using CCTV Under the 2016 Revision of the ITE Law,” HPRP Lawyers, 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20170101010547/http://hprplawyers.com/inter….
- 6Tassia Sipahutara and Karlis Salna, “Inside the Government-Run War Room Fighting Indonesian Fake News,” Bloomberg, October 24, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-24/inside-the-governmen….
- 7Resty Woro Yuniar, “Can Indonesia’s New Cybercrime Unit Win Its War on Fake News?” South China Morning Post, February 18, 2018, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2132683/can-indonesi….
- 8“Bawaslu Bentuk Satgas Pengawas Medsos, Unggahan Bisa Di-Take Down,” Tempo, December 17, 2022. https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1669498/bawaslu-bentuk-satgas-pengawas-m….
- 9Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Astrid Perry, Noura Al-Jizawi, Siena Anstis, Zoe Panday, Emma Lyon, Bahr Abdul Razzak, and Ron Deibert, “Sweet QuaDreams: A First Look at Spyware Vendor QuaDream’s Exploits, Victims, and Customers,” The Citizen Lab¸ April 11, 2023, https://citizenlab.ca/2023/04/spyware-vendor-quadream-exploits-victims-….
- 10Welle, Deutsche. “Belasan Pejabat Indonesia Jadi Target Spyware, Siapa Saja?” dw.com, September 30, 2022. https://www.dw.com/id/belasan-pejabat-indonesia-jadi-target-spionase-si….
- 11Pizaro Gozali Idrus, “Whistle-blower: Indonesia may have used Israeli malware to spy on political opponents,” Benar News, June 12, 2023, https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/indonesian/israeli-spyware-used-….
- 12Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Bahr Abdul Razzak, Noura Al-Jizawi, Siena Anstis, Kristin Berdan, and Ron Deibert, “Pegasus vs. Predator,” December 16, 2020, https://citizenlab.ca/2021/12/pegasus-vs-predator-dissidents-doubly-inf….
- 13Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Siddharth Prakash Rao, Siena Anstis, and Ron Deibert, “Running in Circles,” December 1, 2020, https://citizenlab.ca/2020/12/running-in-circles-uncovering-the-clients…
- 14Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, Adam Senft, Irene Poetranto, and Sarah McKune, “Pay No Attention to the Server Behind the Proxy,” Citizen Lab, October 15, 2015, https://citizenlab.ca/2015/10/mapping-finfishers-continuing-proliferati….
- 15“State of Privacy Indonesia,” Privacy International, January 26, 2019, https://privacyinternational.org/state-privacy/1003/state-privacy-indon…; Joseph Cox, “British Companies Are Selling Advanced Spy Tech to Authoritarian Regimes,” Vice, August 26, 2016, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4xaq4m/the-uk-companies-exporting-in….
- 16Hagar Shezaf and Jonathan Jacobson, “Revealed: Israel's Cyber-spy Industry Helps World Dictators Hunt Dissidents and Gays,” Haaretz, October 20, 2018, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-israel-s-cyber-sp….
- 17PeduliLindungi, https://pedulilindungi.id/#tentang.; "PeduliLindung gets additional registration features and vaccine certificates," Antara News, February 1, 2021, https://www.antaranews.com/berita/1977243/pedulilindungi-dapat-tambahan…
- 18Siti Rochmah Desyana, “Indonesia's Covid tracker app PeduliLindungi: To care for and protect?,” Global Voices, July 6, 2022, https://globalvoices.org/2022/07/06/indonesias-covid-tracker-app-peduli…; Desy Setyowati, “PeduliProtect Change Name to One Healthy, How Many Users?,” Katadata.co.id, March 1, 2023, https://katadata.co.id/desysetyowati/digital/63fde766013d4/pedulilindun….
- 19Desy Setyowati, “PeduliProtect Change Name to One Healthy, How Many Users?,” Katadata.co.id, March 1, 2023, https://katadata.co.id/desysetyowati/digital/63fde766013d4/pedulilindun…; “PeduliLindungi is now Satu Sehat following rebrand, but people say they’re struggling to log in,” Coconuts Jakarta, March 1, 2023, https://coconuts.co/jakarta/news/pedulilindungi-is-now-satu-sehat-follo….
|Does monitoring and collection of user data by service providers and other technology companies infringe on users’ right to privacy?||3.003 6.006|
Score Change: The score declined from 4 to 3 because the government began enforcing key provisions of a 2020 law that compels platforms to provide the government with access to user data.
Several laws support the government’s ability to access personal data held by private companies. Governmental Regulation No. 71 of 2019 (PP 71/2019) states that only data related to government administration, defense, and security are subject to data localization requirements;1 it replaced a previous regulation that required electronic system providers that offer “public services” to build local data centers.2 MR 5/2020, which the government began enforcing through registration deadlines and temporary blocking in June 2022,3 mandates that PSEs provide authorities with “direct access” to their systems and users’ personal data when requested, for monitoring and law enforcement purposes. Any electronic system operators whose digital content is used or accessed within Indonesia must also appoint an in-country representative to respond to content removal and personal data access orders (see B1, B3, and B6).4
In October 2022, the president signed the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Law.5 The measure outlines protections for users’ personal data, including the right to consent, and calls for a data protection authority (DPA), which will enforce the law once it is created. The PDP Law also sets criminal penalties of up to six years in prison for illegal data collection and illegal creation of false data.6 Critics have raised concerns that the DPA will not be sufficiently independent, since it falls under the authority of the president. They have also warned that the relatively weak sanctions for public-sector misuse of data will not prevent government agencies from engaging in such behavior.7 The DPA had yet to be formed at the end of the coverage period.8
Some international companies store user data domestically.9
A 2016 Kominfo regulation stated that personal data must be encrypted if they are stored in an electronic system,10 though a separate ministry directive stated that over-the-top (OTT) service providers must allow legal data interception for law enforcement purposes, raising concerns about the security of encryption.11 Moreover, a government regulation issued in 2000 requires telecommunications providers to retain records of customer usage for at least three months.12 Some companies have complied with law enforcement agencies’ requests for data.
- 1“PP PSTE: Mandatory Registration List & Government Right to Disconnect,” CNN Indonesia, October 28, 2019, https://cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20191028102006-185-443409/pp-pste-wa….; “The Revision of PP PSTE Is in the Finalization Stage,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, July 24, 2018, https://kominfo.go.id/content/detail/13563/revisi-pp-pste-masuk-tahap-f…; Irma Yunita, “Revision of PP No.82 and Its Impact on Indonesian’s Corporate,” Telkom Telstra, https://www.telkomtelstra.co.id/en/insights/blogs/482-revision-pp-no-82….
- 2“The Revision of PP PSTE Is in the Finalization Stage,” Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, July 24, 2018, https://kominfo.go.id/content/detail/13563/revisi-pp-pste-masuk-tahap-f…; “Indonesia,” Linklaters LLP and Allens, July 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160405081116/https://clientsites.linklate…; “Regulation of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, Number 82 of 2012, Concerning Electronic System and Transaction Operation,” 2012, http://www.flevin.com/id/lgso/translations/JICA%20Mirror/english/4902_P…; “Indonesia May Force Web Giants to Build Local Data Centers,” Asia Sentinel, January 17, 2014, https://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/indonesia-web-giants-local-d…; Vanesha Manuturi and Basten Gokkon, “Web Giants to Build Data Centers in Indonesia?” Jakarta Globe, January 15, 2014, https://web.archive.org/web/20150827051118/http://jakartaglobe.beritasa…; Anupam Chander and Uyên P. Lê, “Data Nationalism,” Emory Law Journal 64, no. 3 (2015): 677-739, http://law.emory.edu/elj/_documents/volumes/64/3/articles/chander-le.pdf.
- 3Sebastian Strangio, “Deadline Looms for Indonesia’s Harsh New Internet Content Restrictions,” The Diplomat, July 19, 2022, https://thediplomat.com/2022/07/deadline-looms-for-indonesias-harsh-new….
- 4SAFEnet, "Analysis of Indonesia MR5/2020 concerning Private Electronic System Operators," May 12, 2021, https://safenet.or.id/2021/05/position-paper-analysis-of-the-minister-o…; "Indonesia: Suspend, Revise New Internet Regulation," Human Rights Watch, May 21, 2021, https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/05/21/indonesia-suspend-revise-new-intern…; Katitza Rodriguez, "Indonesia’s Proposed Online Intermediary Regulation May be the Most Repressive Yet," Electronic Frontier Foundation, February 16, 2021, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/02/indonesias-proposed-online-interm… ; "GNI Expresses Concerns About and Calls on Indonesia to Reconsider the ‘MR5’ Regulation," Global Network Initiative, June 11, 2021, https://globalnetworkinitiative.org/mr5-indonesia/
- 5“DPR RI Sahkan UU PDP menjadi Undang-undang,” https://web.archive.org/web/20221110040828/https://www.dpr.go.id/dokakd…
- 6Hunter Dorwart et. al, “INDONESIA’S PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION BILL: OVERVIEW, KEY TAKEAWAYS, AND CONTEXT,” Future of Privacy Forum, October 19, 2022, https://fpf.org/blog/indonesias-personal-data-protection-bill-overview-….
- 7Wahyudi Djafar, "Pengesahan RUU Pelindungan Data Pribadi: ‘Terancam’ Menjadi Macan Kertas," ELSAM, September 20, 2022, https://elsam.or.id/siaran-pers/pengesahan-ruu-pelindungan-data-pribadi…
- 8Wahyudi Djafar, "Pengesahan RUU Pelindungan Data Pribadi: ‘Terancam’ Menjadi Macan Kertas," ELSAM, September 20, 2022, https://elsam.or.id/siaran-pers/pengesahan-ruu-pelindungan-data-pribadi…
- 9“Google Cloud to Open First Data Center in Indonesia,” NNA Business News, March 9, 2020, https://english.nna.jp/articles/8022; Cindy Mutia Annur, “Pasar Indonesia Besar, Google Mau Turuti Aturan Integrasi Cloud,” Katadata, March 5, 2020, https://katadata.co.id/berita/2020/03/05/pasar-indonesia-besar-google-m…; Cindy Mutia Annur, “Menkominfo Minta Google Buat Pusat Data Terintegrasi Dengan Pemerintah,” Katadata, November 20, 2019, https://katadata.co.id/berita/2019/11/20/menkominfo-minta-google-buat-p….
- 10Article 15.2 of the MCI Regulation No. 20 of 2016 concerning Personal Data Protection in Electronic System.
- 11MCI Circular letter no 3/2016 article 5.5.7, 2016, https://web.kominfo.go.id/sites/default/files/users/3997/Surat%20Edaran…
- 12International Comparative Legal Guides, ICLG, http://www.iclg.co.uk/practice-areas/telecoms-media-and-internet-laws/t….
|Are individuals subject to extralegal intimidation or physical violence by state authorities or any other actor in relation to their online activities?||2.002 5.005|
Score Change: The score declined from 3 to 2 because a bomb exploded near the home of a journalist who covers the Papua region, and other journalists faced violent attacks.
Journalists and internet users regularly face harassment and intimidation in retaliation for their online activities.1
In March 2023, Ari, a journalist, was stabbed; he reported that the incident was related to his critical reporting on prominent businessmen in Kuala Tungkal. Three men were detained for allegedly participating in the attack.2
Activists and journalists who report on and discuss the Papua region consistently face intimidation. In January 2023, Victor Mambor, a senior Papuan journalist and founder of the independent news site Jubi, was threatened by a bomb explosion three meters from his home.3 Mambor said the attack was likely connected to his reporting.4 In April 2021, his car had been vandalized.5
In September 2022, journalist Gusti Sevta Gumilar and activist Zaenal Mustofa, both residents of Karawang, were kidnapped and beaten after they criticized 1951 Persika, a local soccer team. Gusti reported that the attack was committed by State Civil Apparatus (ASN) officers.6
Indonesian internet users report experiencing online harassment related to their gender. SAFEnet received 698 complaints of online gender-based violence in 2022, primarily from women. Some 375 complaints involved the nonconsensual distribution of intimate images, 353 involved sexual extortion, and 210 related to doxing.7 People facing such harassment reported experiencing additional forms of intimidation, extortion, and emotional manipulation.
Protesters and internet users in academic communities have also been targeted for their online activity.8
- 1“A Digital Attack on the Implementation of Papuan Racism Discussions, a Real Threat of Democracy,” Kontras, June 12, 2020, https://kontras.org/2020/06/12/serangan-digital-terhadap-penyelenggaran…; Irham Duillah, “End of Year 2018 Notes: Journalists Overshadowed Persecution and Physical Violence,” Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, December 31, 2018, https://aji.or.id/read/press-release/887/catatan-akhir-tahun-2018-jurna…; Alliance of Independent Journalists, “From Our Member Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Indonesia – 2018 Year-End Note: Persecution and Violence Threaten Journalists,” Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, January 8, 2019, https://www.forum-asia.org/?p=27974.
- 2Suwandi and Teuku Muhammad Valdy Arief, “Wartawan di Jambi Dibacok, Berawal dari Unggahan soal Pelabuhan Tikus [Journalist in Jambi Hacked, Starting from Post Harbor],” Kompas, March 27, 2023, https://regional.kompas.com/read/2023/03/27/134042978/wartawan-di-jambi…,
- 3"Papua Police Investigate Bomb Attack Near Journalist Victor Mambor's House," Tempo.co, January 24, 2023, https://en.tempo.co/read/1683153/papua-police-investigate-bomb-attack-n…
- 4"Papuan journalist Victor Mambor says bomb attack likely due to his reporting," Asia Pacific Report, January 25, 2023 https://asiapacificreport.nz/2023/01/25/papuan-journalist-victor-mambor….
- 5"Papuan Jubi Journalist Terrorized: Car Vandalized & Social Media Doxing," Tirto, April 22, 2021, https://tirto.id/jurnalis-jubi-papua-diteror-mobil-dirusak-doxing-media…
- 6Farida Farhan and Reni Susanti, “ASN Suspected of Confinement and Abuse of Karawang Journalists and Social Media Activists Regarding Persika 1951 Posts,” Kompas, September 20, 2022, https://bandung.kompas.com/read/2022/09/20/172448578/asn-diduga-sekap-d…,
- 7SAFEnet. “Digital Rights in Indonesia Situation Report 2022: The Collapse of Our Digital Rights,” SAFEnet, February 2023, p.11, https://mega.nz/file/Z8MgTSyC#10J4DDEofRbXqisCfKfe2H-hsU6Wth_L4Jkt6XkMl…
- 8“Kagama says UGM Philosophy Students Become Victims of Doxing Related to Demo,” detikNews, October 20, 2020, https://news.detik.com/berita-jawa-tengah/d-5224142/kagama-ungkap-mahas…; Egi Adyatama, “LBH Pers, SAFEnet Report Terror Cases to Komnas HAM,” Tempo, June 12, 2020, https://en.tempo.co/read/1352932/lbh-pers-safenet-report-terror-cases-t…; “A Digital Attack on the Implementation of Papuan Racism Discussions, a Real Threat of Democracy,” Kontras, June 12, 2020, https://kontras.org/2020/06/12/serangan-digital-terhadap-penyelenggaran….
|Are websites, governmental and private entities, service providers, or individual users subject to widespread hacking and other forms of cyberattack?||1.001 3.003|
Civil servants, journalists, activists, civil society groups, and news outlets have experienced technical attacks in recent years. SAFEnet reported at least 178 digital attacks in 2022, with many targeting activists and journalists. Technical attacks such as hacking, data breaches, and phishing made up more than 80 percent of these incidents.1 The websites of government entities and private companies regularly face hacks and data breaches.
The media outlet Narasi faced a systematic cyberattack in September 2022. At least 31 employees, including the editor in chief, producers, reporters, and designers, lost access to their phone numbers, which left them unable to log in to their social media accounts due to two-factor authentication requirements.2 Moreover, Narasi’s website was hacked, and the attacker sent a message to the server that read "silent or die.”3
In October 2022, Konda.co suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack after releasing an investigation about four employees at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises who allegedly committed rape and then forced the victim to marry a perpetrator.4
In January 2023, Group-IB reported that Dark Pink, a hacking group, had breached Indonesian government and military systems; the attacks were reportedly still occurring as of May 2023.5 In March 2023, Check Point Research released a report claiming that SharpPanda, the Chinese hacking group, had conducted cyberespionage against Indonesian government agencies in late 2022. The group used malware to access government networks.6
Throughout August 2022, 37 subdomains of websites belonging to the Indragiri Hulu Regency government were defaced.7
Major data breaches also occurred during the coverage period.8 The personal data of 105 million Indonesians, or about 40 percent of the country’s population, were reportedly stolen from the KPU and sold in September 2022.9 In August 2022, 1.3 billion SIM card registration data were allegedly stolen from Kominfo and sold.10 SAFEnet reported that at least 40 cases of data breaches occurred in 60 Indonesian public institutions during 2022.11
A February 2023 report from a consortium of news outlets coordinated by Forbidden Stories revealed that Team Jorge, a group of Israeli hackers, claimed to have hacked the KPU on election day in 2019. The journalists could not fully corroborate the claim.12
- 1SAFEnet. “Digital Rights in Indonesia Situation Report 2022: The Collapse of Our Digital Rights,” SAFEnet, February 2023, p.38 https://mega.nz/file/Z8MgTSyC#10J4DDEofRbXqisCfKfe2H-hsU6Wth_L4Jkt6XkMl…
- 2Haryanto, Agus Tri. “Pakar Keamanan Ungkap Modus Peretasan Awak Redaksi Narasi.” Detikinet, September 26, 2022. https://inet.detik.com/security/d-6313612/pakar-keamanan-ungkap-modus-p…. "Akun Media Sosial Kru Narasi Diretas, AJI: Serangan Berlapis kepada Pers dan Publik", Kompas.com, September 26, 2022, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2022/09/26/15495521/akun-media-sosial-…
- 3"Situs Web Narasi TV Diretas, Terima Pesan Ancaman 'Diam atau Mati'", Tempo.co, September 30, 2022, https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1640298/situs-web-narasi-tv-diretas-teri…
- 4Nurhadi Sucahyo, “Tulis Laporan Kasus Kekerasan Seksual, Situs Konde.co Dilumpuhkan [Write a Sexual Violence Case Report, Konde.co Site Disabled],” Voice of America, October 25, 2022, https://www.voaindonesia.com/a/tulis-laporan-kasus-kekerasan-seksual-si….
- 5Bill Toulas, “Dark Pink Hackers continue to target govt and military organizations,” May 31, 2023, Bleeping Computer, https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/dark-pink-hackers-contin….
- 6Catherine Knowles, “CPR Uncovers Cyber Espionage Campaign Targeting SEA Governments,” SecurityBrief Asia, March 8, 2023. https://securitybrief.asia/story/cpr-uncovers-cyber-espionage-campaign-….
- 7Cyberthreat. “Hacker Deface 37 Subdomain Situs Pemerintah Kabupaten Indragiri Hulu, Minta Blokir Kominfo.” August 6, 2022. https://www.cyberthreat.id/read/14231/Hacker-Deface-37-Subdomain-Situs-….
- 8“Hacker Allegedly Breaches Govt Database on COVID-19 Test-Takers,” Jakarta Post, June 21, 2020, https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/06/20/hacker-allegedly-breache…; Fanny Potkin, “Indonesia's Tokopedia Probes Alleged Data Leak of 91 Million Users,” Reuters, May 2, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tokopedia-cyber/indonesias-tokopedia….
- 9Vilius Petkauskas, Hackers leak sensitive data of over 105m Indonesian citizens,” Cybernews, September 7, 2022, https://cybernews.com/news/hackers-leak-sensitive-data-of-over-105m-ind….
- 10"SAFEnet: 1,3 Miliar Data Pengguna SIM Card Diduga Bocor Jadi Kasus Terbesar di Asia," Kompas.com, Semptember 9, 2022, https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2022/09/09/16180311/safenet-13-miliar-…
- 11“Laporan Situasi Hak-hak Digital Indonesia 2023,” SAFEnet, February 2023, https://safenet.or.id/id/2023/03/safenet-pemenuhan-hak-hak-digital-di-i….
- 12Gur Megiddo and Omer Benjakob, “The People Who Kill the Truth,” Haaretz, February 2023, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/security-aviation/2022-11-16/ty-art…
See all data, scores & information on this country or territory.See More
Global Freedom Score58 100 partly free
Internet Freedom Score47 100 partly free
Freedom in the World StatusPartly Free