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Govt urged to investigate major cyberattack against Narasi journalists

Tempo - October 11, 2022

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia, the Press Legal Aid (LBH), and SAFEnet on Monday handed over an online petition – signed by more than 16,000 people – to the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) demanding an investigation against the massive cyberattack against national media Narasi.

A cyberattack was commenced against the Narasi website along with 37 of its crew members and former editorial workers for the media known for its critical stance.

"We request for the KSP to oversee the Narasi case that has been filed at the National Police Headquarters Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim), and also including the attacks on Tempo and Tirto," said AJI Indonesia chairperson Sasmito in a statement on October 10.

The petition was submitted by AJI Indonesia Chairperson Sasmito, AJI Indonesia Advocacy Head Erick Tanjung, LBH Pers advocate Mustafa, SAFEnet Executive Director Damar Juniarto, and Change.org representatives, Ori Sidabutar and Lendra Persada. The petition was then received by Deputy V Chief of Presidential Staff Jaleswari Pramodhawardani in Jakarta.

Sasmito implied that the Presidential Staff Office Deputy V, who handles human rights issues, must be involved in overseeing the investigation of cases of violence against journalists and the media, which he asserted are categorized as human rights defenders.

According to Sasmito, disclosure of digital attack cases must be carried out transparently and impartially. He maintains that the country's legal apparatus must ensure that those behind the cyberattacks can be brought to justice. Without this guarantee, he said, it would further strengthen impunity against perpetrators of journalistic crimes and risk recurrence in the future.

SAFEnet's Executive Director, Damar Juniarto said that digital attacks on journalists are increasingly worrying as in 2020 there were 26 attacks on journalists, followed by 25 attacks in 2021. Then in 2022, the attack on Narasi is considered the largest attack in terms of people targeted.

"So far the perpetrators have not been revealed and this cannot continue. This is the momentum that must be used to reveal who the real perpetrators of these cyberattacks are so that it becomes clear!" said Damar.

The Presidential Staff Office representative pledged to coordinate with state ministries in the field of cybersecurity and establish a prevention system against cyberattacks against journalists. Especially, he added, in the year leading to the 2024 General Elections.

For those who want to support independent media reporting, the petition is still available to be signed at bit.ly/BersamaNarasi.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1643853/govt-urged-to-investigate-major-cyberattack-against-narasi-journalist