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Jakarta Post

Internet blackout in Papua, cure or curse?

  • Indriaswati DS

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PREMIUM
Sydney   /   Thu, August 29, 2019   /  09:23 am
Internet blackout in Papua, cure or curse? Activist participate in a rally in front of the Ministriy of communication and Infromation in central Jakarta, Friday, August 23, 2019. They asked the govenrment to lift the blockade on internet access in Papua. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Soon after mass protests escalated in Papua in reaction to racial abuse against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on Aug. 19, the Communications and Information Ministry announced an internet blackout in the country’s easternmost territory to prevent hoaxes from spreading there. The ministry promised to stop the blackout by 11 p.m. on the same day as long as the situation in Papua improved. It turns out the blackout has continued until today. Indeed social media played a part in flooding the the internet with information related to incidents inside and outside Papua. But the government’s restriction policy has hardly helped calm Papua; rather it has increased the possibility of human rights violations occuring there. The blackout is flawed for two reasons. First, it exacerbates the isolation of the already isolated region, Second, the policy infringes the princ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.