The House of Representatives has adopted a highly controversial bill on state intelligence that gives sweeping new powers to Indonesia’s heavily criticized State Intelligence Agency (BIN).
The House, known as the DPR, agreed on seven contentious issues and enacted the bill into legislation during a plenary session on Tuesday.
The articles involved the definition of a threat to the state; the leaking of intelligence secrets; the authority to tap telephones; the authority to track the flow of funds; and the gathering of information on anyone suspected of threatening national security or engaging in terrorism, separatism, espionage or sabotage.
Under the agreement, wiretapping, one of the more contentious issues in the bill, will only be allowed after intelligence agencies have sufficient initial evidence and have secured a court order.
The State Intelligence Agency (BIN) will also be able to secure access to data from the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Center (PPATK).
Article 29 of the bill gives BIN a say on foreigners or foreign institutions planning to take Indonesian citizenship, or visit, work, study or open a representative office in the country.
Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appreciated the passage of the law.
Yudhoyono hoped the coordination of intelligence bodies under BIN would ease intelligence gathering, he said.
“The coordination authority given to BIN is intended for BIN to be able to carry out its work effectively but within the limitations of the law,” Patrialis said.