Tag Archives: censorship

Minister warned against regulating multimedia content

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/02/18/minister-warned-against-regulating-multimedia-content.html

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has warned Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring against regulating multimedia contents, a plan that sparked strong protests among Internet users this week.

While Yudhoyono did not mention the minister’s name when he issued the warning during a Cabinet meeting here Thursday, he made it clear the warning was meant for Tifatul, who is currently visiting Europe.

The Communications and Information Ministry, which Tifatul heads, has reportedly drafted a ministerial regulation on multimedia content, a move many fear will threaten press freedom and the freedom of speech, despite its aim to “fight cyber crime” including child prostitution.

“I want to remind you all, members of the Indonesian United Cabinet, that if you plan to draft a government regulation or bill, you must first report to the President. After I approve it then you can start drafting the regulation,” Yudhoyono said as he opened the Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office.

“Maybe there is a belief at this ministry questioning the freedom in the use of technology and its negative impacts on the community and students … but this is a sensitive issue. You can’t just draft such regulations,” he said.

The President said the public should be involved in the drafting of the regulation, and said the ministry should seriously consider the “urgency” and the “aim” of the regulation, as well as working out how it would be implemented.

He also made clear his position on the issue, saying he was not involved in the plan to issue the regulation, adding that perhaps Tifatul was not either.

The draft of the ministerial regulation is said to have only been discussed at the directorate general level, and apparently had not been approved by Tifatul.

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Press Freedom Watchdog Slams Multimedia Draft Regulation

Source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/press-freedom-watchdog-slams-multimedia-draft-regulation/358718

The Alliance of Independent Journalists has slammed the Communication and Information Ministry’s draft regulation on multimedia content, stating that it threatened freedom of the press.

“If the draft was passed, the Indonesian press would face a new era of bans and censorship,” stated the alliance in a press release.

The alliance, known as AJI, stated that the draft’s principle was to ban all internet providers from distributing illegal content and to require them to filer and block illegal content such as pornography and other content which was considered to be “violating decency.”

“The definition of illegal content poses dangers to the press, because there are no definitions about pornography and it could cause multiple interpretations,” AJI chairman Nezar Patria said.

Nezar said that there was nothing in the draft stating that the regulation would not be applicable to the press, even though the draft was contradictory to the Press Law.

“The journalism code of ethics is the only content regulation for press be it print, internet or broadcast,” Nezar said.

Meanwhile, a researcher with Imparsial said that the draft showed that the ministry was heading in the direction of becoming a New Order era censorship board.

“I think the Communication and Information Ministry would be like the Information Ministry during the New Order era,” Al Araf told Metro TV.

He said that multimedia regulation must also consider the public domain.

“The government must apply extra caution regarding the public domain and they must have strong reasons to apply such censorship,” he added.

Imparsial noted that the ministry under Tifatul Sembiring had issued two controversial drafts — the wiretapping draft and the multimedia content.

“The drafts did not have clear orientations and the ministry has a huge authority in both drafts. This is very orthodox and conservative,” he said.

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