Indonesia is a country of diversity in many areas and apart from the stunning natural beauty that attracts visitors each year, the country is becoming one of the most important hubs for e-commerce in Asia. Although many online businesses are being established, or moving to Indonesia, it is estimated that only 20% of the population uses internet on a regular basis. That hasn’t stopped the rise of cybercrime, and the Indonesian government is determined to take measures to tackle the issue. The controversial Electronic Information and Transaction Law, issued in 2008, is Indonesia’s internet law and it establishes that online fraud, money laundering, online gambling and online pornography are illegal.
While the law is meant to prevent these cybercrimes, freedom advocates are concerned that it is being used to restrict freedom of expression. The law doesn’t focus only on the categories previously mentioned. It also covers online blasphemy, online defamation and threats and anyone who is found responsible of sharing or facilitating access to information that is deemed as defamatory (even if it was done inadvertently), could face hefty fines and in some cases, prison sentences. Indonesia may be one of the world’s largest democracies, but the truth is that heavy censorship is applied to prevent users from accessing certain news and political sites, as well as content that is considered offensive, or pornographic.
Censorship is generally enforced by ISPs, but there doesn’t seem to be consistency when it comes to determining what sites should be blocked. Popular websites like YouTube and Tumblr have been subject to temporary bans, while Imgur and Reddit are still blocked. In addition, giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google were previously warned about possible blocks if they fail to pay taxes. While the 2008 legislation includes a set of categories that are not permitted, the spectrum covered is broad and it could affect a great deal of online content. Based on what the law establishes, practically anything could be subject to restrictions, confirming the fears of those who see the internet law in Indonesia, as way to undermine freedom of speech in the country.
The regulation was attacked by freedom activists and the general public and as a result, the government promised to accept suggestions to make the necessary amendments. The list of categories that should be blocked or filtered by ISPs, according to the 2008 regulation include gambling, pornography, degrading content, intellectual property, hate incitement, threats of violence, exposure of private information and false information. Over the last years since the Electronic Information and Transaction law was promulgated, hundreds of internet users have been reported to the authorities for online blasphemy and defamation. However, activists have denounced that in reality, the people involved in these cases, were simply expressing their opinion and criticizing instances of corruption within the government.
VPN for Indonesia
If you live in Indonesia, or are considering travelling there, it is important to consider the threats that online freedom and privacy face. Apart from applying censorship, it is believed that the government carried out online surveillance. Using a VPN will help you to bypass filters and restrictions to access websites and content that has been banned in Indonesia. Furthermore, a VPN will help you to keep your identity protected and your online data private. When you connect to the internet using a VPN, your information is encrypted to make sure that your ISP, the government or other third-parties, can’t see what you do online.
Apart from giving you the possibility of bypassing censorship and enhancing your online privacy and anonymity, a VPN is also a convenient tool to defeat geo-blocks in order to access content from other countries. For example, you can connect to servers in United States and watch content from streaming services that are only available there. When choosing a VPN provider for Indonesia, it is important to look for a service that offers good support for South Asia. Having the option to connect to servers in Hong Kong and Singapore is ideal, as these countries don’t have strict censorship and since they are close to Indonesia, you will enjoy good speeds. Here is our selection of the best VPN services for Indonesia.
One of the highlights of ExpressVPN is speed. This company based in the British Virgin Islands is known for offering an incredibly fast service that will allow you to stream content, and play online games without issues. They have servers in 94 countries, including many good options in Asia Pacific. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of your online activities and it applies strong encryption to your online traffic, keeping it safe.
NordVPN is a top choice for users who need a high level of protection for their privacy. This provider based in Panama has a solid no logs policy and it supports features like double VPN and Tor over VPN. If you are concerned about security and want to make sure that your online activities are not intercepted, NordVPN has the technology and the level of privacy that you need. They have servers in 58 countries, including suitable locations for customers in Indonesia.
Golden Frog’s VyprVPN is designed to help you to defeat censorship and geo-blocks that prevent you from accessing the content that you want. What sets apart this VPN solution from other services in the market, is its unique Chameleon technology, which gives you the possibility of overcoming firewalls and Deep Packet Inspection without issues. The fact that a VPN is in use will not be detected, so you will be able to unlock content, no matter where you are. They have servers in over 70 countries.
PureVPN is a provider based in Hong Kong and it offers a wide coverage in Asia. They have over 750 servers in 141 countries, including many good options in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia, in case you need an IP from the country, but with stronger security. They offer great VPN clients for the most popular platforms, including Android and iOS. PureVPN doesn’t keep logs of your online traffic.