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Jakarta Post

Ministry defends move to block websites

  • Fachrul Sidiq

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 13, 2017   /  02:58 pm
Ministry defends move to block websites Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara speaks to journalists on the sidelines of the Indonesia Fintech Festival & Conference at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE) Serpong, Tangerang, on Aug. 30, 2016. (JP/Anton Hermansyah )

Despite questions being raised on the government’s transparency and methods in deciding which news websites to shut down, a minister has defended the move, saying that it is being done for the greater good. 

“We don’t consider who the owners of the websites are. Our focus is on the content and whether or not it contains hate speech or provokes sectarian sentiments [SARA],” Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said on Thursday, dismissing the notion that there was a crackdown aimed at websites of a certain religion. 

As previously reported, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has lamented the ministry's move to block 11 Islamic sites, and feels the ministry has ignited SARA and promoted radicalism. Among the websites blocked included lemahirengmedia.comportalpiyungan.com, suara-islam.com and smstauhiid.com. As of Friday, access to suara-islam.com and smstauhiid.com had been reopened.

The MUI demanded the ministry publicly explain its definition of radicalism used to determine whether a site should be blocked.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has also suggested the government to seek a court decision before shutting down websites to ensure objectivity. (evi)

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