Minggu, 27 November 2011

Internet Filtering in Indonesia

A. BACKGROUND
        There is no doubt that the Internet provides a huge variety of information which can be accessed by people around the globe,whereever and whenever they want,and much more easily than before.On the other hand,the Internet has worrying negative impacts for people.The spread of pornography through the Internet has apeared as a serious problem.
States have been challenged to inensively manage the wide spread of this unexpected information particulary from outside their own country's borders.Internet filtering has been used to control the spread of pornographic materials by a majority of states.Indonesia,a country with the biggest Mslim society in the world, is greatly concerned with this issue and has imposed Internet filtering regulations on its national Internet connection.
     
The Indonesian government has forced Internet Service Providers (ISPs),including Research In Motion(the Blackberry Smartphone manufacture),to block accessibility to all websites containing pornographic materials .Banned websites are those websites which provide words,pictures,and videos of nudity,explicit sex including homosexuality  and lesbian,and part of sex organs.This regulation was imposed to prevent the spread of pornography and to protect citizens from the danger of pornography.the government uses at least two acts as legal bases for the implementation of this regulation,namely the information and Electronic Transaction Act No.11 2008 and the pornography Act No. 44 2008 .Both acts basically restrict people from distributing ,transmitting,providing,downloading or causing to be accessible any pornographic materials.in ohter words,such activities are categorized as criminal offenses punishable by up to 12 years in prison under Indonesian laws and thus ISPs that provide acessessibility to pornographic materials.will be punished .
         This Indonesian government on the other hand,does not sufficiently provide and publish the method of Internet to users,particulary the mechanism of complaints fron the users,such as if a legal website has been blocked. Transparency and accountability measure of the filtering mechanisms are also not publicly opened.It has become worse as the websites of  Indonesia Information and Communication Ministry is curently not accessible.Furtermore,the bill of  Ministerial Decree on Regulation of Internet Content,has not yet been enacted.it seems thet the filtering regulation is a hasty decisions.Thus,it apparently creates greater adverse effects for the Internet users and its efficiency is highly questionable.
       This national Internet filtering seems generally similar to library Internet filtering.both techniques use "backlist" as databases to block particular websites or contents. The library filtering has been imposed to block "ilegal" websites and thus users are only allowed to access unblocked websites based on gevernments's requested blacklist.Yet,such filtering has the same adverse effects on users.therefore,the library filtering has also suffered from broad critisms.For the purpose of this paper,both sorts of filtering will be treated as the same in their nature.The related assessments of library filtering will also be applied to national filtering.

B. INTERNET FILTERING IN SOME COUNTRIES

       Although Indonesia is not the firstly country to impose Internet filtering,Internet filtering from the beginning of its implementtation in many countries,has generated crucial debates related to unexpected potential implications,such as the infringement against users' rights.the purpose of implementing Internet filtering is to block content regarded as inappropriate for users.Hall and Carter also assert that '' ... has been problem of balancing the need  to protect the society from indecency and obscenity with the goal of presserving individual rights of expression".It has been broadly known that Internet filtering has been imposed by many countries,such as the US,China,India,Iran,Saudi Arabia,Singapore and Thiland. Resistance to Internet filtering has emerged in those countries.Internet filtering in such countries has been utilized for various reasons,such as protection of intelectual property,retrictions that exist as part of the opressions of ethnic minorities or sexual minorities.
       There are three  techniques that are commonly employed by those countries for filtering,namely Internet Protocol (IP)blocking, domain name system (DNS) blocking and proxy-based blocking method appears to be most efficient and commonly used filtering approach. The blacklist must be frequently update to be uble  to cover new unexpected websites .Thus,a sophisticated system must be employed in a genuine  Internet  filtering mechanism.
      Many countries have tried  to control pornography that apepars in various ways including Internet.However,there is no country that's abble to totally control it,even the west.Internet has taken the greatest role as new media for spreading pornography .this way be because the internet has its own characteristic.Internet filtering in many cuuntries ha s been challenged do to its drawbacks.Opponent believe that the filtering is particulary problematic in relation  to the freedom of expression,freedom of acces to information and it generates obtacles for users.for example ,the US,China and the Midle East countries,where they have conducted Internet filtering long before Indonesia,have experienced rejection from various sosial groups ,including educators and journalists.

1. The United States

       In 1999 the US Congres passed the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)in order to protect youth from the danger of pornography .CIPA requires school and libraries to install Internet filtering software to block access to material obsense,child  pornography and material that is harmfull to minors.However,many libraries claimed claimed that this filtering had limited the number of websites that are accessible and made Internet research virtually impossible.

2. China

       China employs IP blocking technique,the cheapest way to filter requested websites,because  it employs the technology that  is already integrated into ISPs normal networks.however ,this technique creates an over blocking  where unrelated website are also blocked .

3. Middle East Countries

       Other example are Saudi Arabia,the United Arab Emirates (UAE)and Iran .the Saudi Arabia government regulates all Internet activities related to overseas so that they must pass through one gateway.
This Gatekeeper is a tool to filter information,which is accessed by the citizens.The gatekeeper will reject access to pornography by giving feedback that the user  for example,have accessed forbidden pages.Similarly,the UEA Government monopolized are telecomunications and allows only one ISP to operate in the country.Likewise,the Iran government operates similarly extence internet filtering,requiring  ISPs to block access to over 10 milion websites including "immoral" websites and other  websites containing humilation  to religious and political figures in the country.
The majority of countries that implement Internet filtering,frequently carry out  testing to discover whether any websites that should be blocked and information that deemed dangerous or taboo either inside or outside  their jurisdiction .This activity ensures that the filtering has covered  newly created websites .However,if this frequent activity does not work sufficiently,the filtering seems meaningless.

C. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
          When Internet filtering then obstruct people  from gaining important and legal information,people will not be reluctant to argue that the filtering constitues a threat to inportant to argue that be filtering constitues a threat to important civil liberties,particulary the right to freedom of expreesion,including freedom of seek,receive and impart information and ideas.This is one of fundamental human rights that has been globally accepted in a legal form under the United Nations.The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rigths (ICCPR) provide in the folowing :
1.   Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2.. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression ;this right shall include freedom to  seek                   receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds,regardless of frontiers,either orally,in writing or  
          in print ,in the form of art,or thought any other media of his choice.

3.   The exercise of rights provide for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsi
      bilities.it may therefore be subject to certain restriction,but these shall only be such as are provided by 
      law and are necessary.
  
D. INTERNET FILTERING IN INDONESIA 
     
          Compared with  other countries that already imposed Internet filtering long before Indonesia.it can be seen that Internet filtering in those countries requires adequate  justification on its implemntation and has experinced crucial problems .Opponent thus have legally atempted to reject such regulation.On other hand ,various efforts have been conducted  to minimize unezpected effects by government .Frequent updating mecanisms,for instance,have been  performed to prevent under und over blocking.it seems that Internet filtering policy must be carried on prior sufficient study and preparation.














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