This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Freedom of opinion and expressions are kind of rights that emerged in every human's life, and it cannot be separated from the human itself. As stated in article 19 of United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. These rights are not limited by borders or ethnicity. Basically, every person is granted with those rights.
The implementations of those rights are different for every person. But in the age of digital communication and information like today, lots of people are using the technological advances to express things. They go online. They are using the internet to express their thoughts. People are putting their words into blogs, sending e-mail to others or through mailing lists, making a websites, or just commenting on social networking websites.
Internet technological advances are not only owned by advanced countries. Lots of developed countries are starting to use and evolve this technology. Internet infrastructures are built everywhere. In fact, 14.000 km underwater internet cable projects are being run to connect Europe, Asia and also Africa (http://www.dw-world.de/ 2009). These developments are really opening ease of access for lots of people.
While among the developed countries in Asia, Indonesia is one of the country that really dig in this internet matters. Through the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) that handles Internet in Indonesia, the Indonesian government shows their earnestness in developing Internet in Indonesia. In their first mission that stated in the ministry websites, the Indonesian government are attempting to increase the capacity of information services and also try to expand the people's potentials in order to actualize the information society (http://www.depkominfo.go.id/ 2009).
One of the government's efforts in order to increase the quality of the Indonesian people was by producing the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law in 2008. This law was produced by MCIT as their responsible to straighten up the usage of electronic information and electronic transaction in Indonesia.
According to former General Director of Application and Telematics (APTEL) Division in MCIT, Cahyana Ahmadjayadi, the ITE Law is meant to give a law base for electronic communication and transaction, such as e-business, e-commerce and e-banking (http://cetak.kompas.com/ 2009).
In practice, the ITE Law is not working as it supposed to be. People were becoming victims of this Law even though it was felt as misuse of law. The most stunning case was Prita Mulyasari's. This mother of two lovely angels was jailed because of her e-mail in a mailing list about local hospital's service. Another sensational case was the temporary closure of popular websites which identified with pornographies and racism materials in 2008.
Because of these problems, there were online social unrests among the internet users in Indonesia. The most destructive reaction was the defacing of MCIT's website by irresponsible person in March 2008. The hacking of MCIT's website was intended to challenge the government's policy regarding the ITE Law. The challenge can be seen from the provocative message that being left by the hacker: prove it, that this law was made not as a cover to the government stupidity (http://www.detikinet.com/ 2008).
There is a big question regarding this controversial law, that is: How Indonesian government open up dialogue with the citizens regarding the ITE Law? I believe there is something wrong with the government's strategy in releasing and handling the issues. With this essay, I will present the cases that happened following the launch of the ITE Law in Indonesia. And I will also present some examples from other countries and how they deal with this kind of issues which can be use as a solution in the future.
In order to create a comprehensive essay, I will use case study approach to analyze the cases. The first case will be the Prita Mulyasari's case, and the second will be the government movement in the temporary closure of YouTube, Multiply, MySpace, Metacafe, and Rapidshare (http://www.detikinet.com/ 2008).
What is the internet? According to Owen in The internet Challenge to Television (1999), Internet is made of software and hardware technologies, and also a collection of services. He also added that the internet can be seen as a two way communication network that linking users with one another or with computer servers (1999 p. 198). Internet is also known as the network of networks (Owen 1999 p. 222). Based on those definitions, we can clearly see that the internet is a mean of communication that connects people through networks.
In the beginning, the internet was meant as a US military project in the 1960. It was used for the military communication (electronic mail) which can be used in any conditions (Owen 1999). But, in the following years internet is used for commercial matters. At that time, the internet is mainly used for sending E-mail, and most of the internet users are young people, with high educational background and affluent (Owen 1999).
The internet entered the golden age when World Wide Web (WWW) was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau in 1990 (Slevin 2000). Millions of webpages emerged after the WWW technology was popularized. Nowadays, WWW browsers have been used multifuncionally, which allowing users to send e-mail, chat, send files and also load other application when needed (Slevin 2000).
After extensively accessed by the people, the use of the internet becomes very popular. Later it was identified as new media. According to Livingstone (2004), new media is characterized as multimedia, entertainment and e-commerce. This indicates that the internet as new media is enriched with multimedia and entertainment features, and also the ability to pursue economic value. However, behind the usual meaning of the new media as devices, lie multilayered relationships which include the economic, political, behavioural, cultural and institutional as well as technological phenomena (Rice 1984 cited in Livingstone 2004).
The internet as new media brings together lots of factor has the most significance in people's life. It is most important not to see the internet only as a tool or single medium. Livingstone (2004) gave explanation to this matter as following: first, the internet is a compilation of media and modalities, such as e-mail, websites, newsgroups, e-commerce and so forth, which make it a complex and plural electronic media. Second, each of this forms have their own communication characteristics, and subjected to different economic and social conditions of use and significantly, and also have different histories that come from several times.
The History of Internet in Indonesia
The internet development in Indonesia comes from a long history. It all started in early 1990's from a community known as Paguyuban Network (Network Association). This is a community that was formed by university students, amateur radio activists, and government elements.
The Paguyuban Network starts the internet movement in Indonesia from scratch. Using the amateur radio's network and satellite, and the will to learn, they manage to create internet connection in Indonesia (Purbo 2000 in http://onno.vlsm.org/). This movement was also documented by Hill and Sen (2005), which stated that the internet was the new media that make it presence felt since 1980s in the western world and 1990s in Asia (including Indonesia).
Indonesian movement on commercial internet was started in 1994 by Indonet, the first Internet Service Provider (ISP). At that time, business was not as bright as today. There were so few internet users at that time, and the connection was still using dial-up, which was considered as a brave step at that time (Purbo 2000 in http://onno.vlsm.org/). By 1998, there were 60 ISPs that being coordinated by ISPs association called APJII. After the massive use of the internet, the trend was moving to the e-commerce and availability of internet kiosks.
Hill and Sen (2005) seen the internet in Indonesia is not only as means of communications, but also as a tool in engaging democracy. They gave examples of internet usage under the authoritarian era before the fall of Suharto's New Order in 1998. First, the e-mail presence has been used by the underground movement to make contact with people outside the state surveillance, nationally or internationally. Second, e-mail newsgroups and websites become alternative source for news outside the suppressed national media (Gilmore in Hill and Sen 2005).
The problem with the media censorship by the authoritarian government held up by Suharto was giving a bad time for democracy and freedom of speech and expression in Indonesia. The emergence of internet at that time was giving a fresh beginning for the movement towards the New Order regime. Relationship between the internet and movement was depicted beautifully by Hill and Sen (2005):
In May 1998, the pemuda (youngsters) were again out in force in the streets of Indonesia, long haired, and nationalism's familiar red-and-white still around their forehead. But for the students who spear-headed the fall of the former general, Suharto, ‘instead of fighting with bamboo spears, swords, guns or tanks, they used banners, placards, the mass media and the Internet.' A ‘curious political force, headless and leaderless, without a central organizing force', the movement was, for some, ‘the first revolution using the Internet' (Hill and Sen 2005 p.33).
Having people fighting back using the internet was giving the authoritarian government a big problem. They were trying to block the internet, just like what they implemented with the print and broadcast media. What makes a big different was, when they tried to seal the traditional media 1(print and broadcast) from the early 1980s, they gained huge success. It was because the censorship came from the self censorship within the media industries itself, and depended on the threat of punishment. But we were talking about the internet; such a punishment would be hard to define. (Hill and Sen 2005).
Ways to shut the internet movement had been used by the authoritarian government under Suharto, but it never really succeeds. If the government shut a site, another site will spring up at another location (Hill and Sen 2005). It was clear that any attempt to repress the freedom of speech and expression will end in failure.
After the fall of Suharto in 1998, which followed by the appointment of Baharudin Jusuf Habibie, the vice president, as the new President of Indonesia, the media scene shows a drastic transformation (Laksmi and Haryanto cited in Seneviratne 2007).
At least there are several major actions that giving implications to the freedom of speech and expression in Indonesia:
- The closure of Ministry of Information (Deppen)
- The birth of Press Law in 1999
- The launch of ITE Law in 2008
The first factor is the closure of Ministry of Information, also known as a spectre for the Indonesian media. The self censorship mechanism did by Indonesian media industries were supervised by this ministry. Sometimes, the supervision processes include the closing of the media itself, if they were deemed as over the line. These bridles act was documented in an article by Tempo Magazine in 1997, ‘What we remembered was not the bridles itself, but it was about the resistance against the bridles, and we will continue that resistance,' (Mohamad in http://www.tempo.co.id/ 1997).
The resistances against the government movement in shutting down the freedom of press gained success in 1999, when Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia's fourth president, decided to close Ministry of Information due to its role's in curbing the freedom in Indonesia (Iskandar 2004). Gus Dur, the nickname for Wahid, thinks that the role of Ministry of Information should be given to the people, and not being held by themselves which can be misused by the government.
After the closure of Ministry of Information in 1999, Indonesian media industries developed greatly. This incident also erasing the media publication permits (SIUPP) which hamper the growth of media industries in Indonesia in the past. From this point onward, the censorship and self censorship mechanism was also abolished.
Laksmi and Haryanto indicated that the internet designate another development of the Indonesian media industry. The internet media becoming more than just alternative news outlet, but now they become another source of media (cited in Seneviratne 2007).
The second factor will be the birth of Press Law in 1999. This event marked the start of the new press era in Indonesia. Indonesian press analyst, Sirikit Syah, believed the Press Law is a very accommodative law which helped the press and also the press consumer (Kompas 2000 cited in http://www.lspp.org/ 2005).
However, even though Indonesia already have the Press Law, but in practice, the press is still under pressure from the people, especially from the authorities who choose to use more general law instead of Press Law. This usually happen with cases that involve the press. Judges, public prosecutor, and also the police, treat the journalists as a criminal, instead of as an agent of change. Until today, there is still no progress in how the authorities treating the press.
After having a tremendous freedom in speech and expression, here comes the ITE Law which considered as government's new way to press the freedom of speech and expression (http://ictwatch.com/ 2009). ITE Law was issued by the MCIT on March 2008 as a way to control the use of internet in Indonesia, especially from the e-commerce sides.
For Indonesia, ITE Law is a must. Indonesian internet culture might have grown rapidly since 1996 (Hill and Sen 2005). However, behind the rapid development of internet usage in Indonesia, there are also other developments that follow.
Indonesia is known as a heaven for internet criminals. There are no certain act that regulate how people using it. This condition is really being used by certain people who see this as an opportunity to search for extra cash by deceiving other people. At least there are two major internet problems in Indonesia, spamming and carding.
Spamming is an act of sending unwanted news or advertising through e-mail. Junk mail, other names of spamming, usually being sent as a will, prize, lottery, etc, which will ask internet users to withdraw the money and split it into two. The victim will be asked for his account number, and without realizing it, they lost amounts of money. It is said that there was an Indonesian losing up to Rp. 1 billion (£ 62.500.000) because of this junk mail (http://www.poskota.co.id/ cited in http://www.resep.web.id/ 2008).
The second one is carding. This crime known as spending other people's money by using their credit cards illegally. The carder, the people who did carding, are stealing people's data over internet and then spend it on online e-commerce sites, such as Amazon or EBay. This act also known as Cyberfraud. According to Clear Commerce Inc. research, an American IT company, Indonesian known as the second worst in the world for this kind of act. Up to 20% of Indonesian internet transactions are from carding (http://www.poskota.co.id/ cited in http://www.resep.web.id/ 2008).
These cardings have made e-commerce sites lost their trust to Indonesian. They sometimes banned Indonesian IP address and did not put Indonesia in their online trade form. And according to ICT Watch, an institution that observe Indonesian internet, the carder now are going even further. They go to chat rooms and pretend to sell things they got from carding very cheap, and they never send the goods after people pay for it (http://www.poskota.co.id/ cited in http://www.resep.web.id/ 2008).
All those acts are regulated on over 54 articles in ITE Law. But, from all the articles, there is only one article that got excoriation by the fellow press members and also the online community, and that is article 27 verse 3 which filed under prohibited acts:
Every person deliberately and without any rights distributing and/or transmitting and/or giving access to Electronic Information and/or Electronic Document which possess vilification content and/or defamation (ITE Law 2008).
Article 27 is getting wide attention from the public. It even had been proposed to the Constitutional Court for a judicial review by press members and bloggers all over Indonesia. Most of them were concerned with the potential threat of this article, especially with multi interpretations possibility regarding defamation and vilification.
This controversial law ideally will cover several matters, such as: ensuring legal certainty in electronic transaction, boosting Indonesian economic growth, preventing IT based crime, and protecting users using IT (MCIT 2008). But the protesters were afraid that this law will just be another weapon of the government to suppress the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. What the people had been worried became reality in just few month times.
YouTube, Multiply and MySpace: the Early Victims
The first ITE Law breakthrough was the temporary closure of the major website in Indonesia. That incident happened in April 2008, just a month after the ITE Law was released. The closure was issued by MCIT as the ministry in charge of internet matters in Indonesia. The websites that becomes the victims were YouTube, MySpace, Multiply, Metacafe, and Rapid share (http://www.kompas.com/ 2008).
According to the letter from the MCIT that was circulated to all the ISPs in Indonesia, the temporary closure in April 2008 was caused by the circulation of Fitna, a controversial film by a Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, which deemed as a harassment to Islamic values (http://www.kompas.com/ 2008). Fitna become a problem since Indonesia is the country with biggest Muslims population in the world.
Before closing those websites, MCIT already asked the websites to remove the contents from their websites, which did not getting any positive response. Therefore, Muhammad Nuh, minister of MCIT, issued the letter which caused the closure. According to him, Fitna had the potential to cause interference in religious relationship and inter civilisation harmony (http://www.detikinet.com/ 2008). Based on the letter, 146 ISPs and 30 Network Access Providers (NAP) were forced to block the websites.
The website closure caused social unrest among the internet users. Many of them, most of them are bloggers; felt that they had been victims of government's abuse of power. One of the blogger, Enda Nasution (2008), evaluated and believed that government's action were over the line. According to him, government should ask the ISPs to block the sites that provided the film and not blocking the portals (http://techno.okezone.com/ 2008). Other bloggers saw government action as an act of criminals. It will be wiser if government can filed an objection first instead of doing a criminal act (Wigrantoro cited in http://www.detikinet.com/ 2008).
Government's attempt on preventing Fitna's spread was considered as an unintended restraint against freedom of speech and expression in Indonesia. Nasution insinuated the government by telling them to shut down the internet entirely instead doing what they did right now (http://techno.okezone.com/ 2008).
When the social unrest became worst in the online world, minister of MCIT called all important bloggers to his office for an informal discussion regarding this matter. The 70 blogger that attended the meeting, have the same question, why should the government block the websites, while there were other solutions in responding to this issue (http://www.detikinet.com/ 2008).
The online protest, the cracking of MCIT's website, and the judicial review of ITE Law, were the kind of reactions that being voiced by the Indonesian people and online communities, as a sign of disagreement with government movements. The people felt that their right as human was being violated by the websites closure.
Then why these websites matters? These websites for some people really have significant role for their work and for giving inspiration people's lives. Aulia Halimatussadiah (2008), a blogger, delivered her complaints through her blog, www.salsabeela.com:
The death of Multiply means the death of creativity of thousand Indonesians who used Multiply as a medium in producing creativity. Named Andrea Hirata (novelist), Maylaffayza (musician), and Fira Basuki (novelist), use Multiply as their main tool to share their ideas and inspirations to other people (http://www.salsabeela.com/ 2008).
Killing YouTube means killing a source of knowledge for Indonesian people. I myself learned French from YouTube, and also finding English material for my students from YouTube. I also found other very important information from YouTube. And God, No... I don't have any interest to watch Fitna, absolutely not (http://www.salsabeela.com/ 2008).
Therefore, people, as a producer or as a user, have seen the capability of these websites and what their meaning for people lives. As what Coleman and Blumler (2009) argues:
The emergence of social network sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Flickr, and YouTube; of user-generated media sites, such as Indymedia, and OhMyNews; of the blogosphere; of wikis; of the creative commons licensing initiatives; and of a range of peer-to-peer (PTP) communities of interest and practice has in some ways exceeded our own expectations in 2001 (Coleman and Blumler 2009: 177).
Things then becoming more interesting, when the internet users also seen those websites as means of communication that can help them to engage democracy and citizenship. The ability of those websites in helping people to engage citizenship crossed Uricchio's (2004) mind:
Participation in these PTP collaborative communities constitutes a form of cultural citizenship, and ... the terms of this citizenship have the potential to run head to head with established forms of political citizenship (Urrichio 2004 cited in Coleman and Blumler 2009 p.177).
YouTube, Multiply, MySpace, and other websites that got blocked by the government have their own significant functions. The people use them as a sharing media. People share their ideas, lives, information and inspiration through those websites. That is why the closure of those websites was big problem.
Luckily, it did not last long. Not more than a week, the blocks had been lifted by ISPs and NAPs. It happened after there were meeting between them, and they agreed to block only the popular URLs and sites that contains Fitna. The MCIT also agreed with this scheme, and they will evaluate the URLs and sites that being blocked in the next 7 days (http://www.detikinet.com/ 2008).
The URLs and sites that still being blocked were:
- http://wikileaks.org/wikii Fitna_anti-islam_movie_by_ceert_Wilders
- http://blogfilmfi tna.blogspot.com
- http://f ile.sunshinepress.org :5444s/fitna-flash-video.zip
- http://wikileaks.org/lealdfltna-fl ash-video.zip
- http://thepiratebay.o tglto 4 1 027 38 lFitna_the_movie_-.English_-_AVl_and_FLV_format
This solution really made the people, the internet users in particular, relieved. After a several protest, cracking, and law reviewing, the government finally listen to the majorities. After all, engaging citizenship is people's right, just as what Coleman and Blumler (2009) said:
For the democracy to work, everyone does not need to be talking to everyone else at the same time, but nobody should be so shut out from the discussions of others that public agendas can be set and decisions made without their right to participate in them (Coleman and Blumler 2009 p.179).
Prita Mulyasari, From E-mail to Jail
She is a martyr. She got jailed just because sending a complaint e-mail to her friends. She is a victim of a corrupt system called Indonesian law. Mulyasari is just an ordinary housewife that got to taste the bitter of life, just as what New York Times Online (2009) wrote for their Saturday Profile section:
Her ordeal began when she sent an e-mail message complaining about the poor treatment she received at a hospital to 20 relatives, friends and co-workers. The message, forwarded from one mailing list to another, eventually fell into the hands of the hospital's lawyers, who sued for defamation. In no time, Mrs. Mulyasari, 32, a mother of two infants, found herself sharing a jail cell with murderers and facing six years in prison, seemingly yet another ordinary Indonesian caught up in one of the world's most corrupt legal systems (http://www.nytimes.com/ 2009).
Mulyasari was sued using Penal Code Law and ITE Law, Article 27, about prohibited acts on the internet. From the latest news, she lost the trial, and had to pay Rp. 204 Millions (equals with £ 12.750) (http://www.detiknews.com/ 2009). But she did not give up; she kept her struggle and proposed an appeal for her case. She even planned to put accountability through the hospital for a value of Rp. 1 Trillion (£ 625 Millions) (http://www.tvone.co.id/ 2009).
Her story was like a fairy tale. She complains about the service, but then ended up in jail. She did not know anything about the law, all she knew that her complain about the service was her right as a human being, and she also protected by the Consumer's Right Law.
Many people, including the new minister of MCIT, Tifatul Sembiring, consider this case as misuse of ITE Law. Sembiring seen Prita Mulyasari as a victim, and he agreed that the Hospital need to improve their services than putting her on court (http://koinkeadilan.com/ 2009).
Mulyasari's case has drawn many attentions from the public. Media, people, and also online communities are joining the Free Prita Campaign. Since the beginning, there have been several campaigns, such as ibuprita.suatuhari.com, Support Prita Mulyasari on Facebook, Support Prita Mulyasari online banner, E-mail campaign, and the latest is Coins for Prita movement. And what is really interesting is, Mulyasari did not evolve in any this activity, it was all done by her supporters, fellow online communities that shared the same feeling with her.
Ibuprita.suatuhari.com is a website dedicated for her struggle against the corrupt system. This website was created by her supporters which consist of well known bloggers. They put Mulyasari's fight for the truth on this website. They also put the Support Prita Mulyasari online banner that can be put in supporters' website to show their support for her.
Facebook cause for Prita Mulyasari gained almost 100.000 people. The viral effects of this campaign touched lots of people, who then joined the group and shared it online. Most of her supporters on facebook shared the sympathy with her. As what her said to NYTimes Online (2009), ‘I'm a mother, a regular person like everybody else, so a lot of people identified with me and felt sympathy,‘ (http://www.nytimes.com/ 2009).
The e-mail campaign is sending an e-mail per person campaign to the hospital that sued Mulyasari. The e-mail was meant to make the hospital stop suing her, and apologise to her and the public for their misbehaved, which of course did not succeed until now because Mulyasari is still standing in court against them.
The latest campaign is Coins for Prita Mulyasari. This campaign is meant to help her pay the court fine of Rp. 204 Millions. People all over the country are opening coins collecting posts. They feel sympathy with her case and condition, especially with her two children (http://megapolitan.kompas.com/ 2009)
Why coins? According to her, coins symbolise the small people, which in this case is her (http://nasional.vivanews.com/ 2009). While, the designer of this campaign, said the coins will erase the borders between classes, everybody can then participate in this campaign. The coins will represent every people from every class in society (http://megapolitan.kompas.com/ 2009).
The campaigns for Mulyasari are the people's responses again the corrupt system. They know that things like this can happen to anyone, especially with flawed law like this. They step up together as solidarity among online communities. And they form groups and websites to gather people who have the same feeling about this.
Internet, as new media, facilitates people with virtual spaces. People with same interest and cause can meet and gather through online networks, and discuss things for greater good (Slevin 2000). Rheingold (1993) describe what these communities do online:
People in virtual communities use words on screens to exchange pleasantries and argues, engage in intellectual discourse, conduct commerce, exchange knowledge, share emotional support, make plans, brainstorm, gossip, feud, fall in love, find friends and lose them, play games, flirt, create a little high art and a lot of idle talk (Rheingold 1993 cited in Slevin 2000 p.91).
Rheingold (1993) also stated that the possibilities of people to use cyberspace as a place to engage political liberties and can change our lives of the real world as individuals and communities (cited in Slevin 2000).
The sympathy and chance of changing a human's life has created an enormous support. People connected to each other in this case to guard the democracy and the legal certainty of all online communities. In some sense, this matters becoming really obvious. McQuail (1987) made sure about this power of media:
The media as a form of political struggle, where the political parties are dysfunctional and the democratic parliament is not working to aggregate the people's needs and democratic demands (McQuail 1987 cited in an essay by Laksmi and Haryanto cited in Seneviratne 2007 p.56).
Guarding the power will be the job of the people. They also have the obligation engage the democracy and citizenship. The internet will be their means of communication to get what they have aimed for.
For Prita Mulyasari, it is not only about sending an e-mail. It is about defending and regains her rights as a citizen. There is always a chance that there will be other Mulyasaris, therefore the fight will not be over yet for her.
How Could The Indonesian Government Create A Constructive And Consequential Dialogue With Citizens?
The dialogue between the government and the citizens are
Every law was made with ideal purpose. It was also made based on the nation's condition. And so was ITE Law. It was made as means to control the internet usage in Indonesia, in positive manner of course.
Seeing from the history, ITE Law was a joint product between MCIT and other stakeholders, such as Ministry of Industry (Depperin), Ministry of Commercial (Depdag), University of Indonesia, University of Padjadjaran, and many more (http://jayacyberlaw.blogspot.com/ 2009). This law is hoped to be the solution for internet problems in Indonesia.
The problem is lots of people, most of them are internet users, disagreed with this law. They feel that this law will limit their freedom and creativity in the internet. While, according to Ahmadjayadi, what people accused is incorrect. The internet still a free place, and people should look carefully to the ITE Law (Ahmadjayadi cited in http://cetak.kompas.com/ 2009).
If the law is not suppressing the internet, then what's the problem? According to people the ITE Law is not well socialized. Asri Tadda, the founder of the first Blogging School in Asia, thinks that the socialization of ITE Law is far than perfect, and the people need to be educated to understand essentials points from ITE Law (cited in http://www.annida-online.com 2009).
According to MCIT officials, the law had been socialized through different medium. In August 2009, MCIT's team went straight to Bangka-Belitung province, and socializing the ITE Law to the internet kiosks all over the province (http://www.kapanlagi.com 2009). Before that, the socialization process already started even before the law is being ratified in March 2008 (http://techno.okezone.com 2008).
Regarding the socialization, the online communities think that the people who need more socialization are the legal apparatus who will use it in their field. Police, prosecutors, and judges will be the people who need to know more about this law. Mahfud MD, Head of Constitutional Court, reminds the legal apparatus to be careful in using this law (http://www.rambukota.com/ 2009). In Mulyasari's case, the legal apparatus wrongly interpret the law (Aly cited in http://www.mediaindonesia.com/ 2009).
Lots of people know this law because of the incidents that following the launch of this law, which got publicized through the media and also considered as free socialization (http://www.detikinet.com/ 2009). But the people awareness of this law is only on the surface, and not the substance of the law itself. The government, in this case the MCIT, needs to allocate more times in promoting this law. Dialogues need to be made, not just with the online communities, but also the legal apparatus and the people. The initiatives
The internet is a big virtual space for the people to interact, where they can be either producer or distributor or consumer, which erase any borders in the real world (Hill and Sen 2005). Living in such a world, we need some rules to keep things on the track. In Indonesia, ITE Law might be the best solution to make sure that the internet will stay safe and healthy (http://ictwatch.com/ 2009).
In Indonesian case, it is clearly that the internet law is still not recognized by the online communities, legal apparatus, as well as the people in general. Even though the MCIT had done socialization, they still need to do more. MCIT need to open more dialogues between the ministry, legal apparatus, and the online communities. After all, as a user of this developing technology, we still need to learn in using it for the greater good.