House Passes Revisions on Indonesia's Draconian Internet Law


OCTOBER 27, 2016

Jakarta. The House of Representatives passed revisions of the controversial Electronic Information and Transactions Law, Indonesia's internet law and popularly known as ITE Law, including reducing jail time for violators, during a plenary meeting on Thursday (27/10).

The session, led by deputy speaker Agus Hermanto, unanimously passed the revisions after they were approved by House Commission I last week.

The revisions are meant to make implementation of the law — loose interpretations of which have caused public outcries — more consistent.

In 2009, Prita Mulyasari was jailed after an email she wrote criticizing the treatment she received at Omni International Hospital in Tangerang went viral. She lost a defamation suit against the hospital.

In 2010, high-profile singer Nazril "Ariel" Irham got into trouble with the law after sex videos featuring him and two artist girlfriends also went viral.

Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara said the revisions to the ITE Law contained seven points. All of them were passed by the parliament.

The revisions are as follows:

  • Additional explanation on what constitutes "defamation" in Article 27, point 3 of the law.
  • Reduced jail time for defamation to four years from six years previously. Jail time for people convicted of online intimidation has also been reduced to four years from 12 years.
  • Five new articles on the use of electronic information as court evidence.
  • Synchronizing the ITE Law's procedures on confiscation, seizure, arrest and detention with Criminal Law procedures.
  • New regulation on how state investigators should initiate investigation into cyber and internet-related crimes.
  • Addition of a "right to be forgotten" — certain electronic information can be erased or deleted at the request of the court.
  • Giving the government more power to prevent and stop the dissemination of negative content on the internet.
"The public's input on these ITE Law revisions have been very useful. My sincere thanks to them," Minister Rudiantara said.