Unlawful Blocking Action on LGBT Websites Should Be Stopped

On 3 March 2016, Commission I of the House of Representatives have asked the Ministry of Communications and Information to block several websites which managed by a number of LGBT communities or organizations. Besides the request from the House, the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia) was also requested the Negative Internet Site Management Forum (Forum Penanganan Situs Internet Bermuatan Negatif –FPSIBN”) which managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to block numerous websites of LGBT organizations and/or communities

The situation and pressure to block several websites for political reasons has been predicted for a long time, especially when the government issued the Minister of Communications and Information Regulation No. 19 of 2014 on the Negative Internet Site Management (“2014 Regulation”). The 2014 Regulation is ‘equipped’ with the FPSIBN to give an impression to the public that the blocking action which was undertaken by the government has been through a democratic process.

We would like to remind that under Article 28 J of the 1945 Constitution and Article 19 paragraph (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”), all restrictions of human rights must be expressly set forth in a Law. Websites blocking action is an action that will restrict the access of internet user, and thus, it must be regulated within a Law. Hitherto, there is no Law which regulate an internet websites blocking action. The Law should contain the detail on blocking mechanism, including to determine on who gets to decide the dispute and who will block the website.

The 2014 Regulation and the Forum are two things that contrary to what is stipulated in the 1945 Constitution and also to all Indonesia’s obligations which enshrined in the ICCPR Rights, specifically related to the blocking action on several considered unlawful websites. Without an indication of a website which has violated the prevailing law, websites blocking action is no longer a legal action, but rather a political action which is prone to be misused.

The 2014 Regulation and the Forum can be easily misused for blocking action that has nothing to do with the rule of law as it is currently happening and carried out by the government.

In that regards, we urge the government to stop all attempts of websites blocking action before there is a clarity about what legal violations which committed by website administrators. Furthermore, we would like to highlight that the blocking action must be linked as an effort to enforce criminal law.

Internet Blocking Supervision Forum

Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (Elsam), LBH Pers, SAFENET, KontraS, Indonesia AIDS Coalition (IAC), LBH Masyarakat, Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum dan HAM Indonesia (PBHI), Empowerment and Justice Action (EJA), Yayasan LBH Indonesia (YLBHI), LBH Jakarta, Indonesia Legal Roundtable (ILR), Mappi FH UI, Kapal Perempuan, Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI), Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan (PSHK), Solidaritas Perempuan

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