Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Law on Electronic and Information

As of this 1st of April, Indonesia will apply a new law on Electronic and Information transaction. What is this law? It is a law against pornographic site and hacker. A site which contains pornography will be banned and the owner or administrator could face a ten year time in prison or a maximum of IDR ten billion fine.

This new law has its own pros and cons. How do you categorize a site as pornography or not? If the site contain nudity then it must be banned. What if the site contains only articles but those articles are all for adults only. How can you filter them? The Indonesian government has launched a software to fight against pornographic contents. With the software Indonesian government will also make a list of all sites with pornography. Again, I honestly think that you can not list all sites on the internet. Moreover filtering is only applicable if you already know the url of the site. What about the newly created site? The list should always be updated then.

This law could also affects articles on the internet with health or articles related to doctor. Suppose you are a obstetrician or gynecologist, the articles you will look for will contain some words which can be categorized as pornography. If the software filtered those articles then how do you suppose find answers on the internet? This could lead really halt the development of information technology especially for doctors. I think the application of the law is a good intention from the government to fight pornography on the internet. But the government also should think about the wide range of affects that will be caused by the application of the law. Continuous studies have to be done to make this law complete.

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