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Activists oppose draft regulation on wiretapping

Sumber: thejakartapost.com | Tgl terbit: Sabtu, 19 Desember 2009

Hans David Tampubolon

The draft government regulation on bugging, which could limit the antigraft's inception authority, met jeers from human right activists who said it would benefit corrupters.

They said it was better for the government to control bugging activities done by the police, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), instead of limiting that of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which was proven effective at combating corruption.

"The government's reason is just baseless. Public officials have their human rights but they already traded a part of their right *to privacy* for their job which other civilians do not possess," Bhatara Ibnu Reza, a researcher from Imparsial Human Rights Watch, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

"Every single decision made by public officials greatly influences the public. Therefore, it is fair for them to be objects of wiretapping, because the public deserve to know decisions made by public officials," he added.

Bhatara said the draft regulation was nothing but another effort to further weaken the KPK after it managed to publicly expose the face of the country's law enforcement institutions at a public hearing at the Constitutional Court in November.

The Court played wiretapped recordings of conversations between fugitive corruption suspect Anggoro Widjojo's younger brother Anggodo Widjojo and several high-ranking officials from the National Police and the AGO.

The recordings were played in connection with fabricated charges against KPK deputy chairmen Bibit Samad Rianto and Chandra M. Hamzah.

In Anggodo's case, Bhatara said, even though Anggodo was a civilian, his connections with high ranking officials in fabricating charges against the KPK deputies was revealed after the KPK used its authority to wiretap the conversations between Anggodo and the law enforcers.

Separately, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Usman Hamid, said privacy was a basic human right and had to be protected.

"However, that right is not absolute. The government has the authority to limit such a right based on the condition that the limitation must be regulated under a law," he said.

Meanwhile, former Supreme Court chief justice Bagir Manan said he also believed interceptions had to be regulated, but not by the government.

"The general regulation on limiting wiretapping can only be regulated by law. A government regulation can only regulate the technical details on the execution of the interception," he said as quoted by detik.com in Jakarta on Friday.

The draft regulation has also ignited a war of words between Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring and presidential advisory staffer Adnan Buyung Nasution.

Responding to Tifatul's defense of the draft regulation, Adnan said Tifatul was a "spokesman for corruptors" because the minister was the one initiating the regulation draft.

Commenting on Buyung's remarks, Tifatul said that he would "dismiss" Buyung.



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