Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara expressed his support for the National Police's decision to monitor public Whatsapp message groups to prevent criminal activities.
"The Indonesian National Police (Polri) stated that they will enter a group chat once they receive a report of a Whatsapp group's member who committed a crime. For example, police will infiltrate a group chat if a group member is incriminated to criminal activities," said Rudiantara on Monday, June 17.
He clarified that this specific police's and the ministry's authority in this area will not overlap each other, which also include police's crime patrol on the internet.
Rudiantara revealed that police will only be able to enter a Whatsapp group with the help of the Kominfo only if someone has committed a crime or filed a complaint against a general.
"That's when the police start to enter the picture," he said.
Police also assures that its members will only monitor Whatsapp groups with indications that it is acting as a distribution point for hoax information.
The ministry said that the spread of false information and hoaxes across the internet is still noticeable, despite a dropping trend.
As a comparison, from the May 22 riots that broke out in Jakarta up to May 24 saw the distribution of hoax and provocative information reach 600 to 700 URLs, which were all taken down by the government.
Despite the dropping number of hoax distribution, Minister Rudiantara reminded the public to constantly be aware of future hoax narratives intended to spark conflict. He also assured that the Kominfo will not block the access to social media during the second presidential dispute court trial.