The Indonesian parliament has passed a law that will restrict access to pornographic and violent Web sites.
The country, which has an 85 percent Muslim majority, has been at odds over the subject of pornography the last few years. “I think we all agree there’s no way we can save this nation by spreading pornography, violence and ethnic hostility,” Information Minister Mohammad Nuh told reporters.
The new legislation called the Electronic Information and Transaction Law will allow Indonesia’s courts to accept digital material as evidence in case involving improper use of the Internet. The law states that anyone caught sharing pornographic material, false news or racial and religious hate messages on the Internet could go to prison for up to six years and be fined $109,000.
An adviser for the information ministry said the government planned to start restricting sites hosting banned material next month. Software for blocking sites would be available on the ministry’s Web site for downloading and that direct blocking of offending sites was being consider.
Critics point out flaws in the new law. “I agree if the bill is aimed at protecting children from accessing adult sites. But I am afraid the police will see it as a chance to extort money from people receiving spam porn emails,” Zatni Arbi of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences told the Jakarta Post.
He also pointed out that blocking pornographic sites would not work.” The draft law may raise a good point but I am worried about the implementation. Censoring is not that easy, as violators can easily find tricks to access and provide porn sites,” he said.
Hackers have defaced the Web site of Indonesia’s information ministry in response to a government move to restrict access to pornographic material on the Internet, an official said on Friday.
Indonesia’s parliament on Tuesday passed a new information bill that criminalizes the transmission of pornographic material on the Web.
The Southeast Asian country has had a vigorous debate over pornography in recent years, exposing deep divisions in the Muslim-majority nation.
Hackers on Thursday posted a message on the information ministry’s Web site (http:/www.depkominfo.go.id) saying: “Prove that the law has not been made to cover government stupidity.”
The message was accompanied by a mocked-up photograph of a local information technology expert, who has been advising the government on the new law, depicted with a bare chest.
Screenshots of the hacked page were posted on the Detik.com news Web site and a cyber chat forum.
The message had been removed and the Web site was now running normally, said Gatot Broto, an official at the ministry.
The ministry said the law was a response to concerns in society about the negative impact of pornographic and violent sites as more Indonesians gain access to the Internet.
Under the law, anyone found guilty of transmitting pornographic material, false news or racial and religious hate messages on the Internet could face up to six years in prison or a fine of 1 billion rupiah ($109,000). Continued…
Indonesia’s parliament has yet to pass a controversial pornography bill, which aims to shield the young from pornographic material and lewd acts.
Earlier draft versions contained provisions that could jail people for kissing in public and criminalize many forms of art or traditional culture that hinge on sensuality, sparking criticism it could curb freedoms and hurt Indonesia’s tolerant tradition.
(Reporting by Ahmad Pathoni; Editing by Ed Davies and Alex Richardson)