Internet Censorship in Indonesia

Indonesia passes internet porn bill

26th March

Indonesian Hostility...

Against people accessing porn sites

Indonesia's parliament has passed a bill criminalising those who access internet sites containing violent or pornographic material.

Anyone found guilty of the new offence could be jailed for up to three years, or have to pay a heavy fine.

The legislation allows the courts to accept electronic material as evidence in cases involving internet abuse.

It passed with wide majority support from all 10 factions in the chamber.

I think we all agree there's no way we can save this nation by spreading pornography, violence and ethnic hostility , said the Information Minister, Mohammad Nuh.

The intention is to start implementing restrictions on sites containing banned material next month, using special software.


27th March

Update: Vaguely Indonesian...

We've passed an anti-porn bill now lets define porn

Failure to provide clear definitions in a new law banning online pornography will hamper its enforcement, the government is being warned.

Legislator Abdullah Azwar Anas of the National Awakening Party (PKB) said the government must clearly define the terms "immorality" and "pornography" contained in the law on information and electronic transactions passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The law criminalizes the use, transmission and provision of pornographic websites.

The law only briefly states providers and transmitters of information or pictures with immoral content could face a maximum sentence of six years in prison or a fine of up to Rp 1 billion (US$107,000).

Abdullah said although the terms immorality and pornography were still debated between feminist activists and conservatives, there needed to be an exact parameter upon which the two disputing groups could agree.

I think nudity certainly falls within the category of pornography, he said. The lawmaker said the government had a one-year period to draft regulations to enforce the law and publicize it before it is implemented.

National Commission for Child Protection chairman Seto Mulyadi said clear-cut definitions of immorality and pornography were important to avoid controversy over the new law.

I think pornography includes pictures or information that can arouse sexual desire. It doesn't necessarily mean nudity. In many cases, nudity can serve as an educational object, let's say for example in biology class, or as an artistic object.

Information and Communications Minister Muhammad Nuh told Reuters members of the public had asked the government to block sites with violent and pornographic content, out of concern about their negative impact as more Indonesians gain access to the Internet. Nuh's office has made available software to block websites with adult content. The software can be downloaded from the ministry's website.

It plans to begin blocking all adult sites from April 1.


1st April

Update: Hacked Off...

Hackers protest at Indonesia's repressive online porn law

Hackers took over an Indonesian government website for several hours to protest against a new law banning online pornography, the information ministry said.

The protesters posted a message on the ministry of information website challenging it to prove that the law was not drafted to cover the government's stupidity.

Indonesia's parliament have just passed a law against producing or accessing websites with pornographic or violent content.

The message seemed to be directed at the law that was just passed by parliament, said ministry official Ferdinandus Setu, adding the site was taken down for a period but was now back to normal.

The new law, which has still to be approved by the president, provides for a maximum penalty of six years in jail or a fine of up to 1 billion rupiah ($110,000) for disseminating pornographic material online.

The ministry said it would start distributing software Saturday to allow Internet users to block pornographic sites.

Sylvia Sumarlin, who chairs the Indonesian Internet Providers Association, warned that it would take time to block all pornographic sites. We have recommended that the government form a body to check websites and block unacceptable ones throughout the country. The government accepted our recommendation, but it will take time to implement it and in the meantime the ministry is recommending the use of the filtering software.


30th July

Updated: Obscene Optimism...

Indonesian government promises to block all porn within the next 2 months

The Indonesian government has pledged to have all porn websites blocked in the country within the next two months as it works to implement the country's strict anti-pornography laws.

We should not wait for too long to close down these sites because otherwise more will people copy and disseminate this material, said Tifatul Sembiring, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology.

Tifatul noted that pornography was already prohibited by law, pointing to the 2008 Anti-Pornography Law, which was upheld recently by the country's Constitutional Court. That law declares, in part, that the state should protect its citizens from the dangers of pornography.

So if God is willing, we will fulfill our obligations, otherwise the continued presence of this material will violate our law, he said.

Tifatul explained that the government's move comes in response to a request from Islamic groups and the Indonesian Commission to Protect Children.

He says the government will shut down objectionable domestic sites and ask the country's 180 internet service providers to block international porn sites. A spokesman for the ministry told Canada's Globe and Mail that the government has not decided yet whether they will impose sanctions on ISPs that do not comply.

Update: Easier said then done

30th July 2010. Based on article from

The Communications and Information Technology Ministry says it can block access to up to 3,000 pornographic Web sites a day, as part of Minister Tifatul Sembiring's plan for smut-free Internet.

Ashwin Sasongko, the ministry's director general for telematics applications, said that his office had already installed filtering software called the Massive Trust Positive in all Internet-enabled computers supplied to villages under the government-sponsored Desa Pintar (Smart Village) program.

He acknowledged, however, that with an estimated four million new pornography pages added to the Internet each day, it would be impossible to completely block access to such sites for Indonesian Web users, and called on the public to participate by reporting offending sites.

But Internet service providers say they need the government to formalize its policy before they can take steps toward blocking the content.

Valens Riyadi, from the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII), told the Jakarta Globe that a regulation on the issue was necessary, to ensure that what we do [in terms of filtering sites] doesn't violate public's right to access information.

Ashwin, however, argued that ISPs were better-placed to identify offending sites, saying it should not be too difficult to filter pornographic content on the Internet and that the ministry would provide them with the list if officially requested.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Telecommunications Users Group said it supported the ministry's antipornography campaign, but questioned how effective it would be, given that many Indonesians access the Internet through their cellphones.

It's technically quite difficult to filter sites for a BlackBerry user, so we wonder if the government plans to rope [manufacturer] Research in Motion into doing the filtering, said Muhammad Jumadi, the group's secretary general.

Meanwhile, ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto told the Globe that the controversial bill on monitoring Internet content was currently being revised, after being widely panned by the public in February. The changes include a new title, Guidelines for Public Complaints on Unlawful Internet Content, signifying its change of focus to get increased public participation in the plan.

Reports from the public should be justifiable and will be reviewed by a monitoring team, whose proposed makeup we've also changed to include 60 percent public appointees and 40 percent government representatives, Gatot said, adding that the team's chairperson would be selected through a vote.


1st October

Update: Snitch Line...

Indonesia minister to reward reports of websites to block

The Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring's new internet censorship strategy calls for rewarding citizens who report porn sites.

We will keep on blocking pornographic contents with various innovations, such as giving special rewards to members of the public who report porn sites to us, Sembiring said.

The anti-porn official did not say what rewards would be offered and didn't comment as to whether the campaign could backfire by having more people surf for porn in an effort to weed out what the country describes as offensive material.

The latest salvo launched against online porn asks the public to report the sites via a telephone hot-line.

Sembiring claimed that his ministry's efforts have successfully blocked 90% of porn sites. But reports say that most of the Ministry's previously targeted sites are still operating.


7th February

Update: Repressive Indonesia...

Ministry claims to have blocked nearly 1 million porn websites

Indonesia's Communications and Information Ministry claims it has blocked nearly 1 million sites that carry pornographic content.

Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said the censorship of porn sites was in line with the government's commitment to provide safe sites accessed by Indonesians and build a more positive character for the nation.

We've blocked more than 983,000 porn sites. We will keep on doing it, Tifatul said during a seminar on the Healthy and Safe Use of the Internet. Tifatul added that the censorship would in turn improve people's ethics in using the Internet for positive purposes.



Update: Cyber Bully...

Indonesian censorship minister declares a jihad against porn

Link Here 14th June 2014
Full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill
Indonesian communication and informatics minister Tifatul Sembiring declared its anti-porn mission a jihad, that he says will continue to the end of time. He  told the religious griup Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI):

I have often told young, religious teachers to never stop once they start jihad. A jihad may also be in the field of information.

Sembiring said that Indonesian officials have been able to block about a billion sites for carrying pornographic content, surmising that there are a minimum of three billion such sites in existence.

Antara News reported that Sembiring has come under heavy criticism after banning Vimeo wholesale.



Offsite Article: State Bully...

Link Here 12th August 2015
Full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill
Indonesian cartoonists personify their country's internet censor as sexy young naysayer

See article from



All revved up...

Indonesia set to fire up an internet censorship machine in January 2018

Link Here 27th December 2017
Full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill
The Indonesian government is set to use a 'censorship machine' starting next year to surf the net to block porn.

The machine would begin operations in January after a handover process on Dec. 29, Communications and Information Ministry's information applications director general Samuel Abrijani said.

The censorship machine uses a crawling system to automatically analyze inappropriate content based on inputs and categories set by the ministry. Samuel said the system was different to surveillance.

The ministry acquired the machine worth Rp 211 billion (US$15.6 million) through a tender process in August.



More misery in Indonesia...

The government forces ISPs to set search engines and YouTube into restricted mode

Link Here 10th August 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill

This week, the Indonesian government has forced ISPs to forcibly turn on content filters on search engines by default, which can't be switched off. The new policy has seemingly been extended to Youtube as well, with many netizens now complaining that the video streaming site's restricted mode feature has been irreversibly switched on, limiting what they can watch.

Based on numerous social media posts, the Youtube restriction applies to users of certain ISPs, both on mobile internet and home internet. Netizens are reporting that even Taylor Swift and K-Pop music videos are being filtered out.

While the government did not say anything about Youtube being included in their recent censorship push, some ISPs like Indosat Ooredoo have been replying to complaints from customers about the Youtube restriction, placing the blame on the government. The ISP tweeted:

Hi, Youtube's restricted mode is a government regulation designed to prevent the public from accessing pornography.


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