Jakarta – Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko has expressed approval of a plan for the police to monitor groups on the WhatsApp messaging application.
"That's what they should be doing," Moeldoko said at the House of Representatives complex in Senayan, South Jakarta, on Tuesday, kompas.com reported.
He said other state institutions – including the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, the Home Ministry, the Communications and Information Ministry, the Indonesian Military (TNI), and the National Police – also approved of the plan to monitor groups using the messaging app.
"In a condition where tension is high, [WhatsApp groups] can stir up the situation or even make the situation worse, so the state should not hesitate to act," he said. "There has to be efforts to reduce tension if it would clearly disrupt national security."
Moeldoko added that the government's duty to protect its people should be prioritized over privacy concerns. "If [the people] are not protected because of prioritizing privacy, the President would be neglecting his duty," he said.
Previously, Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara also expressed support for the plan, but with some caveats.
"I support it, with the condition that there must be an indication of criminal activity, not just arbitrary monitoring," he said. "Because while social media is clearly a public space, WhatsApp chats are private." (kmt)