20September2017

Home Editorial The result of Indonesian government's firmness against Telegram

The result of Indonesian government's firmness against Telegram

More recently, the talk on blocking Telegram web, the instant messenger service application, has been a serious discussion among Indonesian people. The blocking issue starts from Telegram's impression of lack of responsiveness to the government of Indonesia's concerns. Telegram is suspected to be used by irresponsible parties in spreading terrorism and radicalism contents. The government demands Telegram administrators to help Indonesia fighting the terrorist activities through their public channel. However, Telegram thinks it is natural that they have been very reserved from any kind of interventions. This is meant to preserve the added value of application itself. They claim that Telegram cannot be hacked by anyone until now.

Although some circles disagree with what the Indonesian government did, this assertiveness is proved to soften Telegram. Telegram's CEO, Pavel Durov eventually visited Indonesia earlier this week to establish communication with Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics. Minister of Communication and Informatics, Rudiantara said that the government and telegram side finally reached a cooperation agreement and plan to form a special joint team. This team will oversee the various propagandas of terrorist groups in Telegram services. Pavel Durov also confirmed that Telegram will obey the rules of the Indonesian government.

There are two things that can be underlined from this case. On one hand, it is related to the state sovereignty or the government firmness. On the other hand, there is the potential presence of spreading the negative contents through services in the form of data, information or multimedia files via internet network. The companies that run such services or so-called Over-The-Top (OTT) services generally see themselves superior. In the name of protection of individual rights and the freedom of expression, the negative contents seem to be allowed to run rampant. Some people say, the firmness of the Indonesian government is not the popular policy in the public eye. Therefore, the steps shown by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics that manages to soften Telegram need to be appreciated. Although the follow-up of the agreement with Telegram is still in the process, it seems to find the new light to accommodate all parties. At least, the establishment of rules in this country is one of sovereignty. This is the part of the protection attempt of the community, including the attempt to enjoy OTT services without being contaminated with counter-productive contents. Surely, the result will be at its finest one if it can be followed by all countries in the world, and the same firmness to other OTT services. The spirit that is prioritized does not aim to curb the rights and freedom of every individual, but rather to guarantee of its fulfillment. It is necessary to remember, the rights and freedom of a person has certain limit, namely the rights and freedoms of others. (Trans by Feli)

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