President Jokowi Sent Letter to Lawmakers to Amend Draconian Internet Law

Arfi Bambani
'404: Not Found' mural in Batuceper, Tangerang.
'404: Not Found' mural in Batuceper, Tangerang. - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam) Mahfud MD said President Joko Widodo had sent a presidential letter regarding the Second Amendment Bill to Law Number 11 of 2008 concerning Information and Electronic Transactions or Internet Law to the House of Representatives.

"The President has signed the letter, and the Presidential Letter (Surpres) has been sent to the DPR RI on December 16, 2021," Mahfud said in a press release, in Jakarta, Friday, December 24, 2021.

The Presidential Letter dated December 16, 2021, Numbered R-58/Pres/12/202 with the subject of the Bill on the Second Amendment to Law No. 11/2008 concerning Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) and attach a document of the draft bill. The President conveyed that the bill should be immediately discussed in the DPR RI session to get approval with top priority.

The President's letter, said Mahfud, stated that President assigned the Minister of Communication and Information as well as the Minister of Law and Human Rights to represent the government in discussing the bill with lawmakers. The government proposes Internet Law amendment on a limited basis concerning substance. Four articles will be revised, namely articles 27, 28, 29, and 36.

Besides the amendment of the four articles, Mahfud said, there will be the addition of a new article in the revision of the ITE Law, i.e. Article 45C.

It is not known how the changes proposed by the government in these articles are. Perhaps it answered some critics and questions from the public.

The Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SafeNet) a watchdog that regularly records cases of violations of freedom of expression in the online realm has said that the condition of fulfilling people's digital rights is getting worse. Criminal cases using articles of the ITE Law such as articles 27 and 28 which the President has proposed for amendment and discrimination on internet access exacerbated this condition.

According to SafeNet, the condition of Indonesia's digital world is even worse than in 2018 and 2019. “This 3-year report shows the digital rights situation in Indonesia is getting worse. Starting from the alert status in 2018, then alert one in 2019," Damar wrote in an official statement, last April this year.

"And we are getting closer to digital authoritarianism because in 2020 the status will increase to standby two," added Damar.

Tag # freedom of expression # human rights # ite law # internet law # safenet # president jokowi # police

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