Internet security committee to start work next March

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

After less than six months' preparation, the government-backed internet security committee will officially start work in March next year to protect the country's Internet infrastructure from cyber crime.

The committee, which was established in September and is officially called the "Indonesian Information Infrastructure Security Incident Response Committee" (Id Sirtii), will be responsible for monitoring and recording all internet-based communications and transactions as part of the effort to curb cyber crime in Indonesia, which has one of the highest incidences in the world for this sort of crime.

Director General of Posts and Telecommunications Basuki Yusuf Iskandar said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the committee's work would not interfere with the privacy of Internet users as monitoring would only be conducted in respect of internet protocol (IP) transactions, rather than content.

"Even though the committee is sponsored by the government, it will work as an independent body and its members include IT experts, academics and professionals," Basuki said.

The committee will monitor all internet protocol transactions in log files, comprising IP addresses, protocol identities, source and destination ports, and time stamps.

"This information can be used as evidence to support the efforts of our law enforcement agencies in combating cyber crime, not to mention piracy," Basuki said.

Based on the ministerial decree establishing the committee, the National Police and the Attorney General's Office will also have representatives on the committee and will launch investigations should the information obtained by the committee indicate the commission of a crime.

Meanwhile, Heru Nugroho, the secretary of the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association, lauded the establishment of the committee, saying that Indonesia badly needed to improve its image among global Internet-based vendors.

"I recall that my friend's credit card was rejected by Amazon. This means that Indonesia is being excluded by the international community. We receive a lot of reports saying that people have been unable to conduct online transactions as their credit cards were refused." Heru said.

The latest figures from the Asia-Pacific Network Information Center show that Indonesia has the highest level of cyber crime in the Asia-Pacific region, including carding, hacking, phishing (the practice of using e-mails to trick consumers into handing over personal information), and money laundering.

As a result, Indonesia has been sidelined by global internet vendors. An estimated US$50 billion in goods and services are sold over the Internet every year.

In order to restore international trust in Indonesia, the government has called upon all telecommunications operators, and network access and internet service providers to support the committee in its work.

"Everybody using the Internet, including corporations, must compile their log files within the set period of time so that if we need them to verify the commission of a crime, we can find the data we require," Basuki said. "In addition, Internet kiosks must record the identities of their customers so that we can trace those who use the Internet for criminal purposes."

In relation to the preparations for the setting up of the committee, the Posts and Telecommunications Directorate General will hold a second tender at the end of January for the procurement of system monitoring software, as well as the hiring of system operators. The tender will be worth about Rp 12 billion ($1.3 million).

After the first tender for the procurement of hardware in early November, the government selected IT firm PT Esa Mandiri Teknologi, which submitted the lowest bid of Rp 4.09 million, as the tender winner.

The runners-up were PT Dinamika Mandiri with a bid of Rp 4.1 billion and PT Sigma Caraka with a bid of Rp 4.7 billion.(09)
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