Security Minister forms team to monitor social media violations

Security Minister forms team to monitor social media violations

Whoever they are, even ex-prominent figures, it does not matter. When they violate laws, we will take stern action
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto has set up a legal assistant team to support his office in monitoring statements that have violated laws, particularly on social media.

So far, the team has 22 members, but it can take in more members, individually or organizationally, Wiranto said here on Thursday following a limited cabinet meeting to discuss the establishment of the team.

Members of the team comprise legal experts, the Coordinating Minister's staff and high-ranking officers of the National Police, and are required to have a good attitude, knowledge about laws, and experience in legal affairs. The current members of the team include Prof Muladi, Prof Romli Atmasasmita, Prof M Mahfud MD, as well as officials from the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, the Home Affairs Ministry, the National Police, and Wiranto's office.

"Their work starts today; they have a meeting today," Wiranto said.

The team members will study, judge and evaluate certain actions that make the public restless, and what sanction should be imposed on the perpetrators.

By joining the team, the experts fully support the government's firm action, Wiranto said.

"And we will not back down. We will prove who has clearly violated the laws and take stern legal action. So please, no more accusations saying that Mr Wiranto returns to the New Order era and that Mr Wiranto is a dictator. None of them," he said.

On May 6, Wiranto held a limited coordinating meeting with Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara, and Deputy Chief of the Indonesian Police Commission General Ari Dono Sukmanto.

After the meeting, Wiranto said he would set up a national legal team to study the actions and views of certain prominent figures who could potentially commit legal violations.

"Whoever they are, even ex-prominent figures, it does not matter. When they violate laws, we will take stern action," Wiranto stated last Monday.

On May 7, Wiranto said the Government would take down social media accounts spreading hate speeches, provocation, radicalism and others.

"Currently, there have been many incidents—physical, on print media, electronic media, and social media —that have created a stir. But we will monitor social media," Wiranto said last Tuesday.

Of the million accounts on social media in Indonesia, the government has shut down at least 700 thousand accounts for spreading hate speeches, radicalism, pornography, provocation, and others, according to him. Taking down social media accounts that have committed violations will protect the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), he said.

"But they have not been deterred, and still continue. Hence, yesterday, I said the Government will take more assertive action in taking down the social media accounts provoking, violating the laws, etc," Wiranto said.

He said the Government would not take action against the print and electronic media because they are handled by the Press Council or the Indonesian Broadcast Commission (KPI).

"Moreover, if there is news that provokes legal violations and unconstitutional steps, we will certainly take legal action against them," he said.

However, there are people who see the government's policy as a restriction to the freedom of expression.