Indonesia: Regulation of digital platforms should comply with international human rights law and rule of law standards
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) submitted an amicus curiae brief on the right to freedom of expression and information online to the Jakarta Administrative Court in a case about the blocking of digital platforms for failing to register under an executive regulation.
Pursuant to Ministerial Regulation No. 5, access to eight websites and online applications was blocked on 30 July 2022.
Ministerial Regulation No. 5 requires Private Electronic Systems Operators (Private ESOs) to register with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT). If a Private ESO fails to register, the MCIT is authorized to block access to the Private ESO’s online platform until registration has been completed.
In its amicus brief, the ICJ makes the following submissions to the Court:
- By failing to fulfil the requirements of legality, legitimate purpose, necessity, proportionality and sufficient independent judicial oversight, the wholesale blocking of the eight digital platforms is in breach of Indonesia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
- The Ministerial Regulation No. 5’s mandatory registration requirement – under which the above-mentioned blocking of the digital platforms was carried out – is overbroad and, as such, poses a significant risk to the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
The ICJ’s legal brief is aimed at assisting the Jakarta Administrative Court to consider Indonesia’s international human rights law obligations relating to the rights to freedom of expression, information and privacy. The ICJ respectfully requested the Court to review the mandatory registration requirement and the blocking of access to the eight websites in conformity with these obligations.
Case No. 424/G/TF/2022 concerns a claim brought by private individuals and non-governmental organizations against the MCIT. The object of the claim is the Minister’s decision to block access to the following eight websites and online applications: PayPal; Yahoo; Epic Games; Steam; Dota; Counter Strike; Xandr.com; and Origin (EA) on 30 July 2022.
Ministerial Regulation No. 5 is just one example of a set of laws and regulations in Indonesia that curtails freedom of expression and arbitrarily interferes with the right to privacy. The ICJ has previously noted how overbroad legal provisions purportedly concerning defamation have been utilized to censor legitimate online content and, particularly, to target human rights defenders and marginalized communities.
This press release can be downloaded in Bahasa Indonesian here. The PDF of the amicus curiae brief can be downloaded here in English and Bahasa Indonesian.
Daron Tan, ICJ Associate International Legal Adviser, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yogi Bratajaya, ICJ Legal Consultant, e: email@example.com
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