The popular social media platform Facebook announced its cooperation with PT Indosat Tbk (IDX:ISAT) to provide free internet access to Indonesian internet users through the internet.org. The internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative, bringing together technology leaders, non-profit, and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that do not have access to the internet. [Continue reading]
Shoppers always love discounts and sales to get the best deal. Adadiskon.com takes aim at this opportunity. The company is a promotional media start-up, providing information on bazaars and sales events throughout the country. On Tuesday (April 7), we managed to speak to Aswin Tanu Utomo, the founder of AdaDiskon, to understand the business. [Continue reading]
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and their aggressive propaganda over the internet have alarmed the Indonesian government. The Government patrols the internet and actively seek to block propaganda websites. At least 22 websites were reportedly listed for the blockade. But controversy came to surface ever since the news came to public attention. The debate has centered on freedom of expression. [Continue reading]
The presence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathizers has alarmed the Indonesian authorities. There are worries that ISIS propaganda would spread and eventually spark terrorist activities. The worry is not unfounded. ISIS have been aggressively promoting their cause through the internet. This is exactly where the authorities are now focused on, the decision has been made. The Government now patrols the net and actively seek to block propaganda websites. [Continue reading]
We’ve often focused on Twitter and Facebook when discussing the relevance of social media and the 2014 presidential election. Today we’d like to look into what is going on in Path, a private social networking and photo sharing application that has grown very popular among Indonesian internet users.[continue reading]
by: Yositha Nirbhaya
Free mobile application encourages citizens to monitor violations during the election, inviting greater engagement in the democratic process.
A smartphone app offers greater Jakarta area residents a way to help ensure free and fair upcoming 2014 general elections.
The Jakarta branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the ICT Laboratory for Social Changes (iLab) launched MataMassa (“Eyes of the Public”) in November as a way for citizens to monitor and anonymously report administrative, criminal or ethical violations during voting or campaigning.
Those could include installation of campaign banners in houses of worship, highways, or hospitals; vote buying; or other violations as defined by the General Election Committee (KPU) and the Election Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu).
Nelson Simanjuntak, Bawaslu committee commissioner, said the app encourages direct societal participation of the process.
“It needs to be understood that MataMassa really helps us improve the 2014 election,” he told Khabar Southeast Asia.
Users can download MataMassa for free and use it to submit a report of a violation by text, photo or video to AJI Jakarta. Project personnel investigate and submit verified reports to Bawaslu.
Between December 15th last year and March 13th, MataMassa received 1,249 reports, and verified 1,154 of them, according to AJI. Because of limited funding, project personnel could only verify violations in Jakarta and outskirts including Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, AJI Jakarta Chairman Umar Idris told Khabari.
Renanda Laksita, a Partai Demokrat candidate for the House of Representatives (DPR) wished the app could be more widely used.
“I think this is a new innovation to invite society to participate in our democratic process, as we know that many Indonesian people love to use gadgets. I hope society takes advantage of it,” the candidate from Bali told Khabar.
“It would be better if it is applicable all over Indonesia than greater Jakarta only,” she added.
Stefani Bilwa tried, but failed to submit a violation in the form of a massive poster of a candidate in Setiabudi.
“Unfortunately, I was unlucky in submitting it directly through my iPhone,” she told Khabar. “Therefore I have to submit it through the website, which is not as efficient.” Still, Stefani liked the idea of the app to help deliver a fair election.
Reports can also be submitted through SMS center to 081370202014 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for people without a smartphone or the app.
For terror groups, the Internet has become a useful tool to recruit would-be jihadists. The Indonesian authorities are doing their best to keep pace.
Technological advancements have enabled terrorists to wage online propaganda campaigns through “hundreds” of jihad-themed websites, experts warn.
Terrorists’ use of the Internet to spread their messages began in 2002 when Imam Samudra claimed responsibility for the Bali bombings via istimata.com, according to Noor Huda Ismail, executive director of the International Institute for Peace Building.
Ten years later, “there are hundreds of Internet sites” used to spread jihadist propaganda in Indonesia, run by groups and individuals, Noor Huda told Khabar Southeast Asia.
“There are also some individuals who manage several websites at one time,” he said. “They usually use social media and/or free blog hosting such as Facebook or Blogpot to post information or ideas about jihad.”
He said the Internet is one of the most effective ways for extremists to deliver their messages and find like-minded people.
Jakarta-based journalist Solahudin told Khabar that those websites contain information about jihad and Islam in general, and therefore tend to be attractive to their readers and followers.
One of the most popular topics on such sites, he said, is how to make a bomb from regular kitchen items.
“They can easily find out how to make bombs cheaply. They can purchase the ingredients such as match powder and also sugar without being noticed,” he said. “That was actually what happened in Umar Bin Khattab boarding school in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara. They assembled a bomb with knowledge gained from the Internet.”
The principal of the school was sentenced to 17 years in jail for preaching militant jihad and teaching his students to make bombs after a bomb exploded at the school on July 11, 2011, killing one person.
A Tangerang-based Islamic news portal, arrahmah.com, which provides information about jihad, published a letter on October 15th challenging Detachment 88 to an open fight.
According to the website, the letter was written by Abu Wardah, alias Santoso, the self-styled “Commander of Mujahideen in Eastern Indonesia,” who is on the police most wanted list.
The letter, written in Indonesian, Arabic and English, was first released by al-busyro.org, a site which also contains updates on jihad preparation in Poso and can only be accessed by members.
“In order to be a member with those kinds of websites, a person will need a recommendation from another member. Other than that, the website opens registration during certain periods of time,” Noor Huda said. “They do not want the information to be accessed freely.”
In 2006, Detachment 88 arrested three men for helping create and maintain anshar.net on the order of Noordin M. Top, a bomb-maker killed in 2009, with the purpose of spreading jihad propaganda.
Abdul Aziz, a high school computer teacher who designed the site, was sentenced to 10 years in prison that same year. Agung Prabowo was given three years in 2007 for purchasing the domain name anshar.net and a hosting account, while Agung Setyadi was sentenced to six years for sending a laptop to Imam Samudra, who was jailed in Bali at the time.
The Ministry of Communication and Information claims it has been blocking many websites since electronic transaction and information regulations were set up in 2008.
“Unlike before, when we only blocked websites on request, we now have a system which automatically blocks any website that contains negative stuff, including pornography and radicalism,” Gatot Dewa Broto, a spokesman for the ministry, told Khabar.
However, Gatot said, the ministry faces several obstacles in its efforts to block such websites, including limited bandwidth and human resources.
“If we block all the websites, it would hamper the public’s Internet access and we’d rather avoid that,” he said. “Secondly, we lack enough people who can keep monitoring the websites which contain negative material. It needs to be understood that we cannot just block any website based on like and dislike; it requires verification.”
Indonesia has 220 Internet service providers, he said; monitoring them is a big job.
“With all of these problems, we keep trying to improve,” he said.