Jumat, 04 Agustus 2017

INDONESIA, TELEGRAM SHARE COMMON CONCERN ABOUT TERRORISM by Fardah

Jakarta, Aug 4, 2017 (Antara) - The Indonesian government and Russia-based Telegram have finally settled a misunderstanding between them and pledged to work together to solve existing problems as they share a common concern about terrorism.
           The understanding was reached during Telegram CEO Pavel Durov's visit to Jakarta on Aug 1 following a decision by Indonesia to partially block web-based Telegram application.
          Durov held a meeting with Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara to discuss a follow up on the mechanism to handle negative content, particularly when it concerns terrorism.
          At the meeting, both sides agreed to open a special communication channel for the ministry and Telegram in order to prevent the spread of negative content effectively and swiftly.
          Durov remarked that his company was concerned about the terrorism content and shared a similar commitment with Indonesia's Communication and Informatics Ministry concerning counterterrorism.
         He revealed that Telegram was committed to working faster to "shut down publicly available content related to ISIS and propaganda of terrorism."
   "Telegram is highly concerned about the global threat of terrorism, particularly in a country like Indonesia," he explained.
          Minister Rudiantara has expressed appreciation to Durov for his response and his visit to Jakarta to meet him and discus the problem.
          "I laud Telegram for being very responsive concerning this issue," Rudiantara stated.
           He promised to normalize Web-based application Telegram this week since its blocking since July 14, 2017.

           "We are making preparations for normalization or unblocking of Telegram within this week," Samuel A Pangerapan, director general for application and informatics, said in a joint press conference with Telegram CEO Pavel Durov in Jakarta recently.
          Telegram is a free Russian-designed messaging application that enables people to exchange messages, photos, and videos in groups of up to 10 thousand people. It has attracted about 100 million users since its launch in 2013.
          The ministry had sent a request to Telegram to block thousands of terrorism-related content that was distributed across 11 DNS during the period from March 29 to July 11, 2017, but the company's response was considered slow.
          Finally, in July 2017, the ministry was compelled to restrict access to web-based Telegram. Indonesia imposed a partial ban after it suffered a string of attacks, including one by a man whom the police said was radicalized after reading material on Telegram.
         On July 16, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that the Indonesian government had blocked the web-based Telegram application following a lengthy evaluation, and it was not an instant decision.
         "The government has conducted a lengthy assessment, and we are a nation that prioritizes state and public security," Jokowi informed the press.
         He said thousands of social media accounts have been categorized as having the potential to pose a threat to the nation's security.
         "There are not only one, two, three, four, five, or six, but thousands of them. Hence, the decision has been made," the head of state explained.
         The partial blocking prompted Durov to visit Jakarta to meet the minister. He came to know of the blocking through media reports and had expressed commitment to communicating with the ministry regarding the misunderstanding. 
    "This meeting is held in order to follow up the Standard Operational Procedure in handling negative content," said the Minister, with Durov alongside him, in the Ministry buildings in Jakarta.
          Telegram was asked to establish a representative office in Indonesia.
          Indonesia believed that it would ease coordination between his office and the application, especially in handling negative content which include terrorism matters.
          Furthermore, Minister Rudiantara on July 3 said he would wait for Telegram's self-service system evaluation after Durov's Jakarta visit.
          "We will reopen access to the website version of encrypted messaging service Telegram. However, Telegram should comply with a standard operating procedure (SOP) on the handling of contents violating laws on their app," Rudiantara said.
            The minister lauded Telegram's commitment to fix self-censorship system. "I laud Durov's Jakarta visit," he noted.
            The minister noted that the evaluation was based on the completion of Telegram's self-censorship system.
         Meanwhile, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian had earlier said that he lauded the Ministry¿s measures because Telegram app had been used by extremists who committed several attacks in Indonesia.
         The police chief explained that the application provided several features, including an encrypted message which was difficult to be tapped by the officers.
            Apart from its encryption feature, according to the chief earlier on Sunday, the app had been more preferable compared to others apps such as Whatsapp or Line, because it could gather about 10 thousand members in a single group.
           "The groups ran their operations through the app by not only maintaining communication but also spreading the radical doctrines," Karnavian remarked.
          Militants used the social media to share tutorials, for example, on how to produce bombs.
         Minister Rudiantara claimed that his ministry has some 500 pages document which proves that the app had been used to spread bomb-making tutorials, hate speech toward the police, and many more.
          Therefore, he imposed a stern measure that had been consulted and approved earlier by two agencies - the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT).
         "We are not arbitrarily taking down some sites and applications," Rudiantara noted.
          He has urged the app's administrator to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) on detecting as well as halting the radical contents.
           "If the operator could comply with our request, we would cancel the ban after reviewing the app's SOP," he remarked.
         The measure was also lauded by BNPT Chief Commissioner General Suhardi Alius recently.
         The government, according to Alius, will not remain silent after seeing a number of radical content, including the assembly of explosive devices circulating through social media, especially the Telegram. ***2***
   (f001/INE)
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