TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Communications and Informatics Minister Rudiantara admitted that he faced his most difficult situation as a Minister when he agreed to partially censor internet services in social media as it defies his utmost belief for freedom of expression.
"However, there was a larger interest in national security. That is why the decision was made," said Rudiantara in the farewell event at his official state-house in South Jakarta on Friday, October 18, 2019.
At the time, Rudiantara issued a policy that deactivated internet access on a number of social media platforms and chat applications. This was done to curb the spread of fake information and hoax during the Jakarta riots of May 22, 2019.
The policy effectively disabled users from sharing images and videos via Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.
However, Rudiantara claimed that this move eventually generated appreciation from a number of people, domestically and internationally. He says it drove the British secretary of state to invite him and share his thoughts about curbing internet access.
"I presented [my thoughts] it in London, because I was considered able to balance between national security and freedom of expression," Rudiantara recalled.