Questioning The National’s Police Archipelago Task Force
After mulling over the idea of establishing a task force to fight against money politics ahead of the regional elections, the National Police are now seeking to set up another team assigned to curb sectarian issues online, which many fear will increase ahead of the campaign period.
The main task of the team, which will reportedly be named Satgas Nusantara or Archipelago Task Force is to reinforce the work of the National Police’s cybercrime unit. As long as, the cybercrime unit alone will not be able to fight rampant hoaxes on the internet, as one of reason why the National Police will set up Archipelago Task Force.
The team, which will also monitor the use of posters or placards containing hate messages, had been be deployed last week until June 28, a day after voting day. It will involve police officers at provincial and precinct-level offices in 17 provinces that will hold regional elections in June 27, along with three other non-participating provinces.
The Elections Supervisory Agency’s recent Elections Vulnerability Index has found that eight of the 17 participating provinces, which are holding regional elections, are considered highly vulnerable to the use of religious and ethnic issues in political campaigns.
The team would prioritize a soft approach when handling users, who allegedly spread hoaxes, by educating them first before taking any legal actions. The plan was first revealed earlier this month by National Police chief. Gen. Tito Karnavian who deemed it as a preventive measure ahead of the elections.
Some, however, feel uneasy about the plan because they fear it could instead curtail free speech and freedom of expression. Lintang Setianti from the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy said the police should be prudent when handling aleged hate speech cases.
Voicing similiar concerns, Nawawi Bahrudin, the executive director of the Legal Aid Institute for the press, highlighting the need to not only protect freedom of expression, but the press as well.
Essentially, Archipelago Task Force does not need to build because anticipation of spreading hoaxes before and during the next regional elections is substancy the National Police main task as their structural task or as their routine task especially at cybercrime unit, so if Archipelago Task Force could be imagined that the structural police officers main task did not work well.
Politically, number of “opposant” will be judged that the existence of Archipelago Task Force has been reflecting the main function of religious leaders, society leaders and other informal leaders did not work well around their environment.