M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Minister of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Johnny G. Plate on Friday strongly denied allegations suggesting that the government conducted cyberattacks against social media accounts that are vocal in their criticism of the government.
His statement came after dozens of social media accounts of the coordinators for the university student protest on Thursday were hacked before they took to the street.
"The government never hacked against social media accounts. The government does not have the authority to do so," said Johnny in a statement on Friday, April 22.
Johnny G. Plate said that Kominfo has the task of moderating digital content that violates the law. This is done by working across Ministries, Institutions, and related digital platforms.
The minister also said, hacking among internet users are common occurrences that take place at any time, every second, and throughout the year.
Reported previously, 12 WhatsApp accounts owned by student rally coordinators were hacked ahead of the mass protest from April 17 up to April 20th. It was confirmed by the University of Indonesia Student Executive Body (BEM UI) coordinator Melki Sedek Huang to Tempo on Thursday, April 21.
BEM UI is a member of the Association of Indonesian University Students (AMI), whose members participated in the mass protest. It remains unknown why they were subjected to the cyberattack but the incident caused a slight hurdle for the coordination between protesters.