Jakarta – Widespread protests against the passage of the controversial Job Creation Law have extended to cyberspace, as netizens flood social media to criticize lawmakers, but certain tech-savvy protesters have taken a more direct approach.
The House of Representatives' website was recently hacked and the home page header was changed to read "House of Traitors".
Communications and Information Minister Johnny G Plate confirmed the hacking on Thursday and noted that the security breach was being investigated.
He said the House's information and technology division was in the process of fixing the website and had taken down the hacked text.
At the time of writing, the House's website appears to have returned to normal.
A TikTok video showing the hacked text made rounds on social media, with many netizens expressing their amusement at the guerilla satire.
House secretary-general Indra Iskandar acknowledged that there had been attempts to hack the website since Monday, when the bill was passed into law.
However, he denied that the altered text on the website's home page was the result of hacking, claiming that it was merely a visual edit.
"The text was [the result of] an edit," Indra said, adding that the House had coordinated with state-owned telecommunications firm PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) and the National Police to monitor any further security breach.
Other protesters have also found unusual ways to voice their opposition to the new law, such as putting up mock product pages on e-commerce platforms to "sell" the House complex.
One such page on Tokopedia offers the House complex – and its occupants – for Rp 1,000 (US$0.068).
Tokopedia spokesperson Ekhel Chandra Wijaya said the company would watch out for disruptive activities on the platform to ensure compliance with the law.
"We are following up on reports in accordance with procedure," Ekhel said in a statement on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Another e-commerce company, Shopee, also saw the creation of product pages for the House complex on its platform.
"We have ensured that all product and store pages that violate our application's terms and conditions are taken down to ensure customer convenience," said Shopee spokesperson Radityo Triatmojo.
Several such product pages on Shopee offered the House complex for between Rp 10,000 and Rp 99,000.
The National Police previously issued a telegram calling for "cyber patrols" to curb mass protests against the passage of the law, stoking fears of authoritarianism among protesters. (rfa)