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Jakarta Post

Right contained in ITE Law to delete negative news threatens press freedom: Activist

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 28, 2016   /  09:43 pm
Right contained in ITE Law to delete negative news threatens press freedom: Activist Upbeat – Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly (front, second from left) and Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara (front, left) attend a plenary meeting at the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Oct. 27. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

An article in the newly revised Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, which establishes a right for electronic information deemed no longer relevant to be deleted, will potentially threaten press freedom, an activist warns.

The head of research and networking for the Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers), Asep Komaruddin, said the provision, called “the right to be forgotten”, could become a government tool to curb freedom of the press in Indonesia.

Article 26 of the newly revised ITE Law states that “Every electronic system organizer is required to delete electronic information deemed no longer relevant by someone who requests the deletion based on a court ruling.”

Asep said this article could effectively curb press freedom if it was used together with Article 40 on content blocking, which gave the government authority to prevent the spread and use of electronic information with prohibited contents.

“This article will become a new problem. It can become a new way for the government to restrict press freedom,” said Asep as quoted by kompas.com in Jakarta on Friday.

He said it was his opinion that Article 26 would allow misuse by the government to censor news reports. “This regulation can have negative impacts because it can become a new tool to censor news reports published by the media and journalists in the past.”

Asep said Article 26 contradicted Law No. 40/1999, which gave no right to anyone to delete negative news reports published in the past.

The House of Representatives passed the draft revision of Law No. 11/2008 on ITE into law in a plenary meeting on Thursday. (ebf)

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