Arientha Primanita & Anita Rachman
After blocking access to almost one million pornographic Web sites, the Communication and Information Technology Ministry is now targeting anonymous accounts on Twitter.
Minister Tifatul Sembiring said on Monday that he has learned that Twitter was filled with many anonymous accounts that often use insults to attack other people.
“We are now studying it. Because if they really violate [laws] and insult people, they could be reported as spam. Then their [accounts] could be closed by Twitter officials,” he said.
Complaints can be filed against Twitter users that disturb the public or attack and offend public figures, he claimed, even if it is an anonymous account.
“If they violate the laws, they will be punished. Principally, every account user could be held responsible by tracing his position and device,” he said.
Based on the Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law, Tifatul said, there are five violations in the cyber world that can warrant legal charges: pornography, gambling, threats, fraud and blasphemy.
The ITE Law stipulates that anyone who violates the law could face seven to 12 years of imprisonment.
Blogger Wicaksono, who has about 55,000 followers on Twitter, told the Jakarta Globe the ministry had too much time in its hands if it actually pursued that plan. He said there were growing numbers of anonymous accounts, but many of those accounts are tweeting humorous material, such as an account named Suster Ngesot (the mythical crawling nurse ghost).
“And what is the definition of insulting? It has so many interpretations,” he said.
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Pramono Anung agreed, saying people could learn a lot from criticism made by anonymous accounts.
“A limitation or monitoring is not needed. This is a democratic country. If someone thinks that he is being defamed please [report the case], but special monitoring for anonymous accounts, that’s just unnecessary,” Pramono said.
Ministry spokesman Gatot S. Dewa Broto said more than 983,000 Web sites containing pornography had been blocked. There are now more than 55 million Internet users in Indonesia, he added.
Additional reporting by Ezra Sihite