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Civil coalition lists problematic articles in ITE law second revision

Tempo - January 5, 2024

Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi signed the second revision of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law or ITE Law on Jan. 2, 2024. The ITE Law Volume II, which was ratified by the House of Representatives (DPR) on December 5, 2023, officially takes effect after the signing.

The Law No. 1/2024 amended several provisions of Law No. 11 of 2008 and Law No. 19 of 2016.

Koalisi Serius, a civil society coalition advocating for the ITE Law, highlights that the ITE Law volume II still contains problematic articles such as those on defamation, hate speech, false information, and access restrictions. These problematic articles will further threaten the public's right to access information and freedom of expression in the country.

The coalition points out that the latest version of the law retains old problematic articles, such as Article 27 (1-4) which is often used to criminalize civilians, Article 28 (1-2) which is often used to silence criticism, and Articles 45, 45A and 45B on punishment.

The House and the government also added new provisions, including Article 27A on defamation, which the coalition believes has the potential to criminalize critical communities.

Additionally, Articles 28 (3) and 45A (3) on false information, which are already included in the new Criminal Code, are vague and open to multiple interpretations due to a lack of explanation about the matter.

Moreover, Article 40 notes that the government has the power to cut off access to information deemed to disrupt order and violate the law.

"Since the beginning, Koalisi Serius has pointed out the closed nature of the review process and the limited scope for public participation and oversight. This lack of transparency creates a great risk that it could lead to regulations that benefit elites rather than protect human rights," said Muhamad Isnur, chairman of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) who represents the coalition, in a written statement, on Friday, January 5.

The coalition comprises more than 20 civil institutions, including the Indonesian Judicial Research Society (IJRS), the Indonesian Institute for Independent Judiciary (LEIP), the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), and Amnesty International Indonesia.

Koalisi Serius opposes the second revision of the ITE Law and urges the government to ensure that the implementation of Law No. 1/2024 is not used to criminalize critical groups and real victims of crime.

Previously, Minister of Communications and Information (Kominfo) Budi Arie claimed that the second revision of the ITE Law would bring many improvements to regulate and create a healthier Indonesian digital space. "So the digital space will be more productive and fair," he told Tempo on December 5, 2023.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1817506/civil-coalition-lists-problematic-articles-in-ite-law-second-revisio