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Jakarta Post

Revised ITE Law could hamper freedom of expression: Researcher

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, October 31, 2016   /  06:58 pm
Revised ITE Law could hamper freedom of expression: Researcher Upbeat – Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly (front center) 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)

The newly revised Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law could limit people's right to freedom of expression because many provisions in the law expand the government’s role in controlling information, a researcher said on Monday.

Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) researcher Wahyudi Djafar said Article 40 of the ITE Law, for instance, enabled the government to block access to electronic documents suspected of disseminating information related to pornography, terrorism and defamation, among other things.

“Granting the government full authority to terminate access to prohibited content on the internet is dangerous because it carries huge risks of power abuses,” he said on Monday.

Article 26 of the revised law enables people to request the deletion of published information if it is deemed to have become irrelevant. A suspect found not guilty can ask for any information he or she considers to be no longer relevant to be eliminated from the internet.

“This may benefit some groups who want to scrap their track records, such as deleting information about human rights abuse cases in the past,” Wahyudi said.

The House of Representatives passed the draft revision of Law No. 11/2008 on ITE into law in a plenary meeting on Oct. 27.

Communications and Information Ministry spokesman Noor Iza told The Jakarta Post that the government had decided to revise the law because there were pros and cons in the implementation of several of its articles.

“This [revision] has been what the public has wanted all this time, namely letting the government have greater power in managing information technology,” he said. (win/ebf)

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