Activists call on Facebook to support users indicted under draconian ITE law

Solidarity Net – September 14, 2016
Revoke Article 27 Paragraph 3 of the Electronic Information and Transaction Law
Revoke Article 27 Paragraph 3 of the Electronic Information and Transaction Law

Jakarta – On Wednesday September 14 the Social Movement for Democracy (GEMA Demokrasi) called on Facebook to take responsibility for revisions to the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (UU ITE). This is because of the many internet and Facebook social media users that have been indicted under the law.

Facebook, as an internet technology company, has the largest number of users in Indonesia with more than 14 percent of the country’s 102 internet users using Facebook. The social media company however has never shown any concern for Facebookers who have been indicted under the ITE law.

Yet Facebook and its users are both vulnerable to being indicted under the ITE law. Articles 27, 28 and 29 of the law could also make Facebook liable as the party that provides access to information categorised as cybercrime and as the party that shares posts by users who are charged.

GEMA Demokrasi made the call based on based on a report by the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFENET) that said since 2008 more than 200 people have been reported to police.

They have been indicted after expressing opinions or sharing their status in the form of written words, photographs or videos that were deemed to have spread pornography, tarnished the reputation of a person, insulted religion or other actions subject to the articles under the ITE law.

In 2016 there were between 6-7 cases each month. The largest number of these cases, 53 percent, that have been reported to police have been postings on Facebook.

GEMA Demokrasi is calling on Facebook to be take responsibility for its users that have been reported to the authorities and that it must urge the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemkominfo) and the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I to revise the UU ITE.

SAFENET regional coordinator Damar Juniarto is calling on Facebook not to close its eyes to the problem and just make profits. “I think that it’s time for this technology company to be reminded of its social responsibly for the business it’s running so that doesn’t just reap profits but is also be concerned about human rights that exist within the scope of its performance”, asserted Juniarto.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Marak Kasus Pelanggaran ITE, Facebook Harus Bertanggung Jawab.]