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Indonesia The Internet in Indonesia has been expanding rapidly. Although broadband subscriptions are relatively expensive, users have been accessing the Internet through mobile telephones and Internet cafés. As the Internet market continues to grow, the Indonesian government has become increasingly sensitive about pornographic and anti-Islamic online content. This concern has led to the creation of a number of laws to regulate such content on the Internet and sparked discussions within the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology on how best to regulate content deemed “illegal” under the new laws. The circulation of two celebrity sex videos on the Internet sparked a government clampdown on pornographic Web content in the summer of 2010, despite opposition from the public. RESULTS AT A GLANCE Filtering No Evidence of Filtering Suspected Filtering Selective Filtering Substantial Filtering Pervasive Filtering Political • Social • Conflict and security • Internet tools • OTHER FACTORS Low Medium High Not Applicable Transparency • Consistency • 310 Indonesia Background The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997–1998 had a major effect on Indonesia’s economy— the drying up of foreign direct investment, the collapse of the rupiah, mass unemployment , and rising inflation brought about major socioeconomic problems. Citizens demonstrated their discontent through major uprisings, which eventually led to the resignation of General Suharto in May 1998 and the end of three decades of United States–backed authoritarian rule.1 Under Suharto, Indonesia was known as one of the “Asian Tigers” for its strong economic growth (with an annual average growth rate of 8 percent in the last decade of his regime).2 However, government policies exacerbated socioeconomic cleavages and inequalities, and created tensions that were suppressed through repressive military measures.3 The majority of people were excluded from political life in a climate in which social conflict, corruption, and repression of dissent were widespread. Some analysts suggest that although the financial crisis was the catalyst that triggered the breaking point of Suharto’s rule, it was not the underlying cause.4 The end of the Suharto regime marked the beginning of rapid change and democratization in Indonesia. Although social unrest, separatist movements, corruption, terrorism, and political and economic instability hindered progress initially, conditions have since improved. The country experienced its first free parliamentary election in 1999 and its first directed presidential election in 2004. One important outcome of democratization is the relative press freedom that Indonesian media and citizens enjoy today. However, although freedom of speech and of the press are protected by the constitution and Indonesia’s press is considered KEY INDICATORS GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2005 international dollars) 3,813 Life expectancy at birth, total (years) 71 Literacy rate, adult total (percent of people age 15+) 92.0 Human Development Index (out of 169) 108 Rule of Law (out of 5) 1.9 Voice and Accountability (out of 5) 2.4 Democracy Index (out of 167) 60 (Flawed democracy) Digital Opportunity Index (out of 181) 116 Internet penetration rate (percentage of population) 8.7 Source by indicator: World Bank 2009, World Bank 2008a, UNDP 2009, UNDP 2010, World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators 2009, Economist Intelligence Unit 2010, ITU 2007, ITU 2009. See Introduction to the Country Profiles, pp. 222–223. ONI Country Profile 311 among the freest in Southeast Asia,5 full press freedom has been hindered by legal and regulatory restrictions (many of which have only recently been enacted).6 Self-censorship is commonplace, and those who speak out risk violent attacks and intimidation.7 The country is secular with an ethnically and religiously diverse population. However, because of its predominantly Muslim population (as well as a conservative Muslim majority within government) the state is sensitive about indecency and blasphemy . The government has also expressed concern about media and Internet content that could spark social unrest. These concerns have had an adverse effect on full freedom of expression in the country. Internet in Indonesia As of August 2010, Indonesia had over 200 Internet service providers (ISPs).8 The largest are Telkomsel and Indosat. Made up of roughly 17,000 islands, Indonesia does not have a centralized Web infrastructure and has several links to overseas networks.9 Indonet receives its upstream bandwidth from San Francisco, London, and Hong Kong at a rate of 156 to 200 Mbps.10 The country has two Internet exchange points (IXP), the Biznet Internet Exchange (BIX) and the Indonesia Internet Exchange (IIX). The IIX was the country’s first IXP and is maintained by the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII). Internet...


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