Indonesian ministry Web site hacked over porn ban

JAKARTA Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:20am EDT

A screen grab of www.depkominfo.go.id. REUTERS/www.depkominfo.go.id

A screen grab of www.depkominfo.go.id.

Credit: Reuters/www.depkominfo.go.id

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Hackers have defaced the Web site of Indonesia's information ministry in response to a government move to restrict access to pornographic material on the Internet, an official said on Friday.

Indonesia's parliament on Tuesday passed a new information bill that criminalises the transmission of pornographic material on the Web.

The Southeast Asian country has had a vigorous debate over pornography in recent years, exposing deep divisions in the Muslim-majority nation.

Hackers on Thursday posted a message on the information ministry's Web site (www.depkominfo.go.id) saying: "Prove that the law has not been made to cover government stupidity."

The message was accompanied by a mocked-up photograph of a local information technology expert, who has been advising the government on the new law, depicted with a bare chest.

Screenshots of the hacked page were posted on the Detik.com news Web site and a cyber chat forum.

The message had been removed and the Web site was now running normally, said Gatot Broto, an official at the ministry.

The ministry said the law was a response to concerns in society about the negative impact of pornographic and violent sites as more Indonesians gain access to the Internet.

Under the law, anyone found guilty of transmitting pornographic material, false news or racial and religious hate messages on the Internet could face up to six years in prison or a fine of 1 billion rupiah (54,500 pounds).

Indonesia's parliament has yet to pass a controversial pornography bill, which aims to shield the young from pornographic material and lewd acts.

Earlier draft versions contained provisions that could jail people for kissing in public and criminalise many forms of art or traditional culture that hinge on sensuality, sparking criticism it could curb freedoms and hurt Indonesia's tolerant tradition.

(Reporting by Ahmad Pathoni; Editing by Ed Davies and Alex Richardson)

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