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Indonesia's internet freedom drops 2 points over last year: Freedom House

Kompas.com - October 20, 2020

Tsarina Maharani, Jakarta – Freedom House has released the latest research on internet freedom in 65 countries around the world titled "Freedom on the Net 2020".

The research shows that Indonesia is ranked as partly free. Indonesia was given this category after obtaining an internet freedom score of 49 out of 100.

This score is a two point decline on last year when Indonesia was ranked 51 out of 100.

"In 2020, regrettably Indonesia's score dropped to 49", said Freedom on the Net researcher Sherly Haristya during a virtual discussion on Tuesday October 20.

The research was conducted between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. Haristya said that their research evaluated and measured three things, namely obstruction of internet access, content restrictions and violations against internet users.

The assessment is based on a scale between 0 (not free at all) to 100 (very free).

Indonesia garnered a score of 14 out of 25 for obstruction of internet access, 18 out of 35 for content restrictions and 17 out of 40 for violations against internet users. In total, Indonesia obtained a score of 49 out of 100.

Haristya said that there were five main findings in the research which contributed to Indonesia's poor internet freedom score.

First, restrictions on internet access in Papua in August and September 2019 during the wave of anti-racist protests.

Second, in January news portals created by the Indonesian military (TNI) were found which contained pro-government propaganda.

Third, in March there was criminalisation of journalists, activists and civil society groups.

One example of this was the chief editor of liputanpersada.com who was sentenced to two years in prison for writing an article critical of a regional government project.

Forth, intimidation and doxing of people active on the internet has continued. Freedom on the Net cited the case of Papuan human rights activists and lawyer Veronica Koman.

Fifth, the hacking of social media accounts belonging to activists throughout 2020. Haristya gave as an example the arrest of activist Ravio Patra.

"Indonesia, over the last two years, has been placed in the category of 'partly free'", said Haristya.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Riset Freedom House: Skor Kebebasan Berinternet Indonesia 49 dari 100". ]

Source: https://nasional. kompas.com/read/2020/10/20/20381111/riset-freedom-house-skor-kebebasan-berinternet-indonesia-49-dari-10