House Porn Prank Gets Jakarta Lawmakers Hot Under Collar

By webadmin on 03:20 am Aug 03, 2010
Category Archive

Markus Junianto Sihaloho

Jakarta.  The creeping reality that banning pornography will be no easy task for the government became even more evident on Monday, when at least two public computer screens in the House of Representatives suddenly began broadcasting pornographic images.

The two touch-screen public information terminals, located near the media room in Nusantara III, were seemingly hacked to redirect to a porn Web site. It was reportedly discovered just after lunch by a journalist who tried to access the House schedule for the day.

But for the next 15 minutes, what was displayed on the screen were extremely hard-core photographs and advertisements — including one for “young teens” — from an adult Web site that is banned in neighboring Singapore and Malaysia. Security personnel had to switch off the terminals to stop the offensive broadcast.

Lawmakers were far from amused. “It’s not a funny incident. Someone must be held responsible for it,” said Roy Suryo, a Democratic Party lawmaker.

An angry Marzuki Alie, the Democratic House speaker, said a hacker was likely behind the prank. “We may file a police complaint,” he said.

Ruhut Sitompul, another Democratic lawmaker, said the House Secretariat should investigate the incident.

Roy, who is also an IT expert, said it should be easy to identify whoever was responsible for the incident.

“Just check the CCTV in the room and we can find who opened the porn site,” he said.

Roy said it appeared that someone had copied images from a pornographic site, saved them onto a flash drive and then uploaded them to the House’s Web site.

“I think it was a Secretariat staff member who violated the disciplinary code by using a USB device and loading the HTML file onto the screen through a terminal,” he said.

Nining Indra Saleh, the House secretary general, could not be reached for comment.

The prank, ironically, comes as the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is working to ban access to pornographic Web sites in the country.

Minister Tifatul Sembiring has promised a porn-free Ramadan, which will start next week, but Internet service providers say they need the government to formalize its policy before they can take steps toward blocking the content.

Golkar Party lawmaker Bambang Soesatyo said the prank would serve to increase momentum for the Information Ministry to block access to pornographic sites. “With or without a hacker, the ministry must block access to any porn sites,” Bambang said.

The ministry is also in the process of revising the draft of a controversial bill on monitoring Internet content that would be submitted to the House.