On Friday, a coalition including ARTICLE 19 and 24 Indonesian, regional, and international human rights organisations sent an open letter to Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology to express human rights concerns about Ministerial Regulation 5. Issued on 2 December 2020, the regulation was set to take effect last week, but on 24 May the Indonesia Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (KOMINFO) announced a six-month postponement. The open letter highlights threats to freedom of expression and privacy posed by Ministerial Regulation 5 and calls on KOMINFO to repeal the regulation.
Ministerial Regulation 5 governs the functioning of private electronic systems operators (ESOs) in Indonesia—which include social media platforms, search engines, and communications services. The regulation grants the government overbroad authority to regulate ESO activity, access user data, and issue onerous notice and takedown orders. It also introduces excessive penalties for non-compliance. Ministerial Regulation 5 governs both local and international ESOs, requiring registration and designation of contact persons in Indonesia, who may be at risk of arbitrary reprisal for failure to comply with overbroad requests.
Michael Caster, ARTICLE 19’s Asia Digital Programme Manager, said:
“Ministerial Regulation 5 is a disaster for internet freedom in Indonesia. It poses a serious threat to internet users’ rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and access to information. Authorities will be empowered to bully online service operators into compliance under the threat of having their services or websites shutdown in Indonesia.”
“Rather than merely postponing its implementation, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology should immediately repeal Ministerial Regulation 5. Any further efforts to regulate online spaces should ensure effective public participation and respect for international human rights standards.”
For more information
Michael Caster, Asia Digital Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.