Indonesian parliament with the government plans to ratify the State Intelligence Bill draft to become the Law of Intelligence in 2011. Through a series of discussions that have been done by the parliament and government, Intelligence draft has undergone several changes.
From the beginning we give full support to the parliament and the government’s plan which will regulate intelligence institution through the establishment of the Intelligence Bill. However, discussion and ratification of the Intelligence Bill should become integral part of intelligence reform. In that context, the basic principles of democratic state should have been an inherent part of the Intelligence Bill.
We assessed that the draft of State Intelligence Bill that is being discussed parliament is not fully accommodate the principles of democratic countries and it raises serious issues against the values of democratic life of the country itself, including:
1. Intelligence definition
Article 1 point (2) states intelligence as a state government agency. Basically, the intelligence agencies are not government agencies but the instrument of the state. The definition has put intelligence position as tool of the ruler that works for the interests of rulers and not the instrument of the state which work for the benefit of its people. It’s very concerning since it is very likely intelligence can be used to spy on people in the interest of the ruler alone and not to the real enemy as Indonesia had experienced in the New Order era.
The existence of refusal of court authorization requirement before conducting interception as mentioned in the explanation of Article 31 is not only potentially threaten citizens’ rights but also vulnerable to abuse (abuse of power) for the sake of economic and political power. Intelligence do need the authority to conduct tapping/interception, however, it must be done through a standardized and rigid mechanism and must have a clear prerequisite, such as the importance of getting court approval for conducting interception.
Referring to the decisions of the Constitutional Court No. 006/PPU-1/2003; No. 012-016-019/PUU-IV/2006; No. 5/PUU-VIII/2010, the Court believes it is necessary to establish specific regulation about interception on the level of State Law/Bill to prevent the possibility of abuse of authority for wiretapping and recording. Thus it is only appropriate that the discussion of the Intelligence bill conducted in parallel with the discussion of the bill on Interception in the interest of coordinating arrangements for intelligence ability to intercepts.
3. Secret Intelligence Information
Setting intelligence secret referred in Article 24 jo Article 39 of the Intelligence Bill draft still raises multiple interpretations and are vague. The multiple interpretations are threatening the freedom of information, freedom of the press and democracy itself.
4. Arrest (List of Revision given by Government)
Granting authority for the intelligence to arrest threatens human rights and damage criminal justice system mechanism. To grant the authority is tantamount to legalizing kidnapping using Intelligence Bill considering intelligence work is closed/covert and secret. It is important to remember that the state intelligence agency is part of the non-judicial agencies that are not included as part of law enforcement officers, such as police and prosecutors, therefore granting authority to arrest is wrong and can not be justified. In a country that respect rule of law, authority to arrest and detain is only obtained by law enforcement officials.
5. State Intelligence Coordinating Institution (Lembaga Koordinasi Intelijen Negara – LKIN)
State Intelligence Coordinating Institution (LKIN) as the new institution provided by this bill will be the agency that replaces the position of the State Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara – BIN) that has very broad authorityy. In that case, LKIN should not have the operational authority and functions, such as making communication interception, checking flow of funds, and such. Implementation of operational functions should be handed over to existing intelligence agencies which have operational authority.
Oversight mechanism in the National Intelligence Bill draft is only made in the form of parliamentary oversight by the House of Representatives held by the completeness of the House of Representatives in charge of intelligence oversight. There are no regulations governing internal controls, executive oversight, and legal supervision. At this point, the oversight conducted by the parliament should be performed by a separate intelligence committees within the parliament, namely by forming a new special commission overseeing the intelligence.
7. Organization and Role
From an organizational standpoint, the Bill draft did not adopt the State Intelligence structural differentiation and specialization of functions. State Intelligence Bill draft does not strictly divide the working area of foreign intelligence, domestic intelligence, military intelligence, and law enforcement intelligence.
8. Structure and Position
State Intelligence Bill draft also has not been able to separate accountability between the structures that is responsible for policy making with the structure responsible for operational in implementation of the policy. Ideally all security actors who serve as executors of the policy are under or become part of ministries/ministerial-level the structure, intelligence agencies are no exception.
9. Personnel and Recruitment
Associated with members of the intelligence, the State Intelligence Bill regulates vaguely of intelligence personnel. It is not regulated whether recruitment mechanism is either open or closed.
10. Code of Conduct and Prohibition
In addition, the State Intelligence Bill draft does not contain regulation or codes of ethic for intelligence that includes obligations, rights and restrictions for all activities and aspects of intelligence.
11. Making Intelligence a Civil Institution
This Bill draft has not incorporated the agenda of making intelligence as civil institution. Ideally in the era of democracy, all intelligence agencies are civilian and not active military, except for military intelligence. Until now, the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) is still filled by active military personnel despite the head of intelligence is civilian.
12. Rights of victims
State Intelligence Bill draft has not included the rights of victims, particularly those related to complaints of victims if there are intelligence actions that are deviate and caused serious problems for the implementation of the rights of people.
We urge the parliament and the Indonesian government not to rush in passing the State Intelligence Bill and provide space for the community to provide input and views on the efforts to improve the State Intelligence Bill draft, as provided in Law No. 10 Year 2004 on Procedures for Making Laws and Regulations.
We fully appreciate members of Parliament who rejected the plan on granting intelligence the authority to arrest in the Intelligence Bill. Ideally the formulation of the Intelligence Bill is to maintain a balance between the need for countries to guarantee and protect the freedom of civil society and human rights on one hand; and to guard and protect national security on the other.
Jakarta, March 28, 2011
Advocacy Coalition on Indonesia Intelligence Bill
Imparsial, Kontras, IDSPS, Elsam, the Ridep Institute, Lesperssi, Setara Institute, LBH Masyarakat, ICW, YLBHI, LBH Jakarta, HRWG, Praxis, Infid, Yayasan SET, KRHN, Leip, Ikohi, Foker Papua, PSHK, MAPI, dan Media Link
Bambang Widodo Umar
We hope international network can help monitor and push Indonesian government to create Intelligence Bill that is accountable and respect the value of democracy.
We welcome every feedback and support from your organization around the world.
Have a nice day,
Mufti Makaarim al-Ahlaq
Institute for Defense Security and Peace Studies
- Indonesia sees technology as a threat, Internet surveillance looms (thenextweb.com)
- Intel: Indonesia’s intelligence agency reborn (baliblog.com)