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Jakarta Post

The return of Big Brother to Indonesia?

  • Yanuar Nugroho

    The Jakarta Post

Manchester, UK   /   Wed, March 30 2011   /  08:00 am

Advances in Internet technology have changed the way people live. For many it has brought the appealing promises of global community, democracy and openness.

Many others fear technological threats such as alienated individuals, anarchy, surveillance and repression. The House of Representatives’ proposed intelligence bill is a clear example of the latter.

The bill, if enacted into law, would give the authorities a free pass to monitor conversations and exchanges on the Internet.

Even worse, the bill would give legal justification to the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) to detain anyone suspected of threatening public security based on exchanges on social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

While the very same social media have given birth of a new type of civic engagement globally, in Indonesia, in the eyes of the bill’s drafters, technology...