<Update> Later in the afternoon, shortly after a piece about the matter appeared in the online version in the English language paper Jakarta Globe, both sites were accessible again. At this point I don´t know the reason why exactly the sites were down in Indonesia. The change.org petition is still up and running. Maybe it should be changed to petition Menkominfo to actually watch the film?
Looks like it is starting: the websites of the film “The Act of Killing” as well
as the film production company behind it (Edit: “Jagal” is the Indonesian title) Jagalfilm.com, can no longer be accessed (from Indonesia)
Director Joshua Oppenheimer first asked followers to test from various devices and locations, and two days later, on Sunday, January 13 at 16:01 WIB Detik.net came out with an article opening up speculation about who might be behind the blocking.
Here is my rough translation of that article:
Has the website of the controversial film “The Act of Killing” been blocked?
Ardhi Suryadhi – detikinet
Jakarta – the site that hosts the controversial film ‘The Act of Killing’ by Joshua Oppenheimer is reportedly not accessible any more. After it has been tested from various providers, it seems like the site at http://theactofkilling.com/ is no longer online as it should be.
This is what the filmmaker, Joshua Oppenheimer states: “Interesting. Many report that the site #TheActofKilling/#Jagal can not be accessed without redirection via a proxy” he writes on twitter.
“It seems that http://jagalfilm.com & http://theactofkilling.com can no longer be acessed from Indonesia. Who did this?,” Oppenheimer continues.
Besides the director, other twitterers directed questions regarding the unavailability of the website of the film that was screened at Toronto Film Festival towards the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Tifatul Sembiring.
“Hey Mr. @tifsembiring, why can´t the website of the act of killing not be opened? What´s wrong? Is this on purpose?” asks another twitterer.
“If this happened on the order of Menkominfo, they have to explain their reasons. Thus far, blocking is only allowed for porn sites, gambling and blasphemy,” says Megi Margiyono, a cyber law specialist from Indonesia Online Advocacy (IDOLA)
The film The Act of Killing’ that was shown at Toronto Film Festival tells the story of the situation after the “30 September 1965 movement”. It shows the involvement of Medan youth in the killings of suspected PKI members.
In the film, one of the executioners is Anwar Congo. Anwar confesses that he was involved in the killings, but because the situation was dangerous. He reasons that if at that time he had not killed PKI members, he himself would have been killed.
A Response by MenKomInfo appeared on br68h.com as of SUNDAY, 13 JANUARY 2013 20:19
Here is my rough translation of that article:
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kominfo) denies blocking the website of „The Act of Killing“
KBR68H, Jakarta – The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kominfo) denies having blocked access to the website of „The Act of Killing“. The speaker of the Ministry, Gatot S Dewabroto, claims not to know that the website of the film that sparked controversy can not be accessed by the public.
„I did not know about this, I have not even seen the film, we are also not aware that the site has been shut down. We always inform the public in a formal procedure if there is a site which we shut down. This means, we would for sure come out with a public report.”
The website of the film The Act of Killing cannot be accessed in Indonesia. The director, Joshua Oppenheimer, questioned the shutting down of the site via twitter. This question was then taken up by other twitter users, and directed to the account of the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Tifatul Sembiring.
The film that was screened at Toronto Film Festival tells the story after the „30 September 1965 Movement“. The film shows the way members of the Communist Party Indonesia (PKI) were killed by activists of the Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth) in Medan.
Soon after, a change.org petition was started by Megi Margiyono, asking the govt to explain / take a position on the speculation of the site blocking
Here is my rough translation of that petition:
Petitioning Mr. Tifatul Sembiring, Minister of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia
Menkominfo (The Ministry) has to explain the blocking of the websites www.jagalfilm.com and www. Theactofkilling.com
Arbitrary blocking of websites violates human rights, specifically the right to freedom of expression and the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds.
To: Mr. Tifatul Sembiring, Minster of Communication and Information Technology, and Head of PR Mr. Gatot S Dewo Broto
Since January 12 2013, internet users in Indonesia are no longer able to access the websites jagafilm. Com and theactofkilling.com. Both sites are used to promote the documentary film with the title “The Act of Killing”, with the Indonesian title “Jagal”. The film is a documentary about Anwar Kongo, a personality that became the executioner of people suspected of being members of the Communist Party Indonesia (PKI) in 1965. The film by Joshua Oppenheimer is of great historical importance, and is very useful in creating awareness about human rights in Indonesia.
There are suspicions that the two sites have been blocked by several Internet Service Providers (ISP), so that the websites cannot be accessed from Indonesia. The problem is that there is no transparency about the blocking of sites in Indonesia so that the public does not know which sites are being blocked. This is the same for the owner of the sites, they are also not being told about their sites being blocked.
The practice of blocking and filtering in Indonesia does not adhere to the principles of transparency and due process of law. (The Ministry) never provides information to the community about which sites are and will be blocked. In addition, the blocking procedure (in Indonesia) does not follow a formal legal process through a court order. Not only that, even the criteria for content to be blocked are increasingly unclear. Initially, the only content that can be blocked are pornography and gambling. Then, content containing blasphemy (Blasphemy) could also be blocked. Now, it seems content containing political material such as films about 1965 can also be blocked.
We are worried that blocking without clear criteria, without a procedure that is following basic rules, and without transparency about the list of sites that are being blocked will give rise to e regime of internet censorship in Indonesia. If this happens, we are in the middle of a serious threat towards the freedom of the internet.
So we are asking you to explain whether it is true jagalfilm.com and theactofkilling.com have been blocked by the government? If it is true, what is the legal basis for the blocking of those sites?