AIC Submits Comments and Recommendations on Kominfo’s Ministerial Regulation No. 5/2020 (“PM 5”)

The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) has submitted comments and recommendations on Kominfo’s Ministerial Regulation No. 5/2020 (“PM 5”). The AIC is supportive of fostering a safe and useful environment online for all users. As a leading industry association in Asia, we take issues like violent extremism extremely seriously and have invested significant financial and other resources to combat it across our services, including systems and tools to detect and respond to violations of policy and to act on valid orders to remove illegal content. Yet, the latest iteration of the regulation GR71 – as reflected in MR5 – continues to include and even add worrisome provisions on sensitive online content and electronic system operators.

The regulation requires Private ESOs which are established through foreign law or reside in other countries to register, if they 1) provide services in Indonesia, 2) have business in Indonesia and/or 3) have electronic systems used or offered in Indonesia. This may present significant administrative challenges for a number of entities, and raises questions as to how it can be enforced, fairly and taking into account international trade commitments.

Any requirement for forced local incorporation and physical office presence will have a deleterious impact on foreign direct investment, economic growth, and Indonesia’s growing IT industry. Instead of forcing companies to open local offices, Indonesia should be encouraging and facilitating foreign investment through incentives, creating an enabling environment, and growing the base of Internet connected consumers. Furthermore, the effectiveness with which companies moderate online content does not depend on having local presence, but rather on having well established processes and product-specific policies, clear local laws to guide the process, and properly informed and valid requests for takedowns.