House supports swift establishment of national cyber agency

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Houses Commission I on Communications and Information has lent support to the speedy establishment of the National Cyber Agency to curb hoax news circulating among the public.

"I think it is a good thing if it is established soon to reduce or even eliminate the spread of hoax (information)," Commission I Chairman Abdul Kharis Almasyhari stated here on Wednesday.

He noted that the establishment of a cyber agency is expected to prevent the people from being misled by hoax news, as it could lead to slander.

The Commission I chairman of the House of Representatives pointed out that pieces of information presented to the public should be valid and accurate, so that they do not create slander.

"I think hoax news should not be circulated regardless of how small it is, as it would mislead the people," he emphasized.

It has been on the discourse for a relatively long time but yet to be established by the government, and Commission I needs to currently take up the matter with the concerned authorities.

The commission is willing to again lend a ear to the governments inputs after it expressed willingness to form it in 2017.

"We will later hear the governments explanations regarding its plan to set up the National Cyber Agency," he revealed.

In the meantime, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto stated that President Joko Widodo had instructed him to immediately establish the National Cyber Agency.

"The establishment of the National Cyber Agency has been agreed in the meeting, and the president has instructed that the agency should be formed at the earliest," the minister affirmed here on Tuesday.

Wiranto added that the agency, which will protect national cyber activity, will be part of a national program under his ministry.

According to Wiranto, the establishment of the agencys board has been consolidated with 12 ministries and agencies under the Coordinating Ministry.

"The agency should be formed immediately. If possible, the agency will be inaugurated this month," he remarked.

The establishment of the National Cyber Agency has been under discussion since 2015, but in mid-2016, the plan was dropped by President Joko Widodo owing to budget constraints.

The establishment of the agency was discussed by the government in October 2016 after taking into account the potential threat to the nations internet infrastructure from hackers.(*)