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Jakarta Post

‘Morality ministry’: Communications ministry mocked for shrugging off data breach

  • Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 7, 2020   /   09:43 am
‘Morality ministry’: Communications ministry mocked for shrugging off data breach Illustration of a hacker. (Shutterstock/File)

Indonesian netizens have turned to memes to criticize the Communications and Information Ministry's apparent blasé attitude toward a major data breach affecting millions of users of homegrown e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia.

According to a recent report by cybersecurity research collective Under the Breach, an as-yet-unidentified party managed to hack into the tech company’s database in March, gaining access to the records of more than 15 million Tokopedia users in the process.

Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate summoned the company's representatives to his office to discuss the incident on Monday, but his statement after the meeting, which only repeated what Tokopedia representatives had already said, did little to reassure worried customers.

“Tokopedia has explained that user accounts and financial data are safe,” Johnny said.

Read also: Tokopedia data breach exposes vulnerability of personal data

Netizens jumped on the statement and contrasted the minister’s cavalier response to major data theft with how the ministry is quick to respond to supposed pornographic or pirated content online.

Twitter user @martabakiju posted a meme showing cartoon character Squidward, representing the ministry, closing his eyes to data breaches while becoming wide awake when looking at pornography.

“A kominfo moment,” @martakiju tweeted on Wednesday, referring to the ministry by its local abbreviation. The tweet has garnered more than 5,000 likes and 5,000 retweets as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Fellow Twitter user @_mardial_ posted a similar meme, this time with a character from popular Japanese anime Naruto, which has been retweeted more than 6,400 times and liked 9,600 times.

Another user posted a meme depicting the ministry tackling pornography while ignoring hacking and privacy breaches.

User @tembakauharam, meanwhile, suggested that the ministry’s name be changed to “the Morality Ministry of Indonesia.”

“Kominfo” became a trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, with many people complaining about the ministry’s lack of sensitivity over which issues were important to handle immediately.

“Kominfo works really fast to block websites providing pirated movies or pornographic content. But when it comes to data theft, as just happened to Tokopedia, the ministry does nothing," user @afandi_shan tweeted.