The Minister of Information and Communications, Muhammed Nuh, has apologised for ordering the blocking of various sites, such as YouTube and Multiply, which host the video Fitna
which upset a few lads who admitted to not having actually seen it.
Apparently there were "overwhelming complaints" from internet users and providers, not all of whom are bloggers. There were suggestions in some quarters that Jakartass was blocked for a while. As I didn't try to access this site yesterday morning, I wouldn't know. However, a number of tech-savvy friends have commented that if by some chance Jakartass was offline it was more likely to be as a result of general incompetence by whoever has their fingers on the switches than anything I said.
And what I've said is that I don't want to see images of so-called Islamic fundamentalists beheading captives or to watch the indoctrination of suicide bombers, but I would appreciate having the option of not watching.
I am prepared to think that SBY is ill-advised by certain 'experts' and he's too busy to bother himself with technical details. Besides, he has an election to think of, so whilst all this kerfuffle was happening he was out of town handing out food parcels to some impoverished farmers.
Of course, this sorry affair isn't over yet. The issue started with the government writing to YouTube last week asking them to remove the film. This was obviously tantamount to dictating to the worldwide community of internet users and, in the parlance of international diplomacy, an incredibly stupid and totally unacceptable act. The resolution of this issue is that the individual addresses, rather than the sites are blocked. There are ways around this but, given that I'm not interested in viewing the film, you'll have to work them out for yourself.
I have the feeling that this issue will resurface because Google, owners of YouTube, had this to say: "We propose that the ministry send a list of videos believed to be illegal, noting the specific web addresses. We will promptly review the ministry's list and remove any illegal videos from display to Indonesian YouTube.
This smacks of external censorship, much as practiced in China and, to varying degrees, throughout south-east Asia.
In the spirit of testing the waters, I offer this link
to a post about a new animated film about the Prophet Mohammed.
Of course, I haven't seen it, and because we just don't have the bandwidth neither will the vast majority of Indonesia-based internet surfers .
And offering citizens inkless pens is the worst form of censorship.