In 2017, police captured 170 suspected terrorists. (Antara Photo/Ari Bowo Sucipto)

Police Advance Measures to Tackle Terrorism, Cybercrime


DECEMBER 29, 2017

Jakarta. The police will strengthen preemptive and collaborative measures to address terrorist threats, National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday (29/12).

The National Police's counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, must be strengthened, Tito said, adding that its manpower will be doubled.

This year, police captured 170 suspected terrorists, 10 of whom have been convicted, while the rest are either on trial or still investigated. Sixteen died in custody.

On the issue of cybercrime, Tito spoke about the risks of hoax and provocative content circulated on social media platforms. He said hate speech must be curbed by a collaborative effort of governmental institutions and members of the public.

In 2017, the National Police established a multimedia unit under the public relations department, a special security directorate under the Bureau of Intelligence and Security (Baintelkam), and a directorate of cybercrime under the Criminal Investigations Unit (Bareskrim).

Bareskrim's unit is responsible for law enforcement, while Baintelkam's will utilize intelligence to prevent cyber threats, including hate speech. Each of the new units is also responsible for carrying out cyber patrols.

Tito said he had discussed the issue with Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and is considering the formation of "a network of cyber troops."

He encouraged netizens to join the network, saying that hate speech can be dealt with also through soft measures.

The spread of fake news on social media is a challenge for all countries, yet Indonesians, who are among the most active social media users in the world, may be more at risk.

"We hope we can improve our capabilities in monitoring cyber activities without inhibiting freedom of expression. But freedom is not absolute, and monitoring is still necessary," he said.