Securing Electronic Transaction Jakarta Post Editorial 03312008 Is it Possible to imagine what life would be like without the

internet? it is unthinkable for most of us here, let alone for people in developed countries. it would be like a world without telephones. Even in Indonesia, many people consider automatic teller machine cards or credit cards as their identity cards. They never leave home without them. Most businesses now consider the web an integral part of their operations, with electronic transaction (e-commerce) having become the order of the day. The equivalent of billions of dollar worth of electronic transactions are conducted everyday within the banking industry and stock market. In many countries, without the internet airplanes would not fly, taxes would not get paid, stock markets would not operate, supermarkets would not restock. The power grid would not balance supply and demand for electricity across the region or between provinces. Simply put, the global supply chain, which has become increasingly integrated the world economy, is not possible without the internet. These are just a few exmples of how the internet and electronic transactions have become an integral part of the daily life and economy. So it goes without saying the vital role of the law on electronic information and transaction the House of Representatives enacted last week, because the legislation will prepare us for the new global economy. Even though public opinion, led by media coverage and commentary, was initially preoccupied with the restrictions the law would impose on access to pornographic websites, that is not the most important theme of the new legislation. Critics, who attacked the law for imposing limitations on internet access, simply forget that the legislation meets a vital need of the people and the economy regulations to secure and legalize electronic transactions and to protect people using the internet. The law provides legal certainty for electronic transactions by legalizing electronic documents and electronic (digital) signatures. It governs various aspects of e-transactions and the certification of a system's reliability and provides protection for personal data put on the web. The legislation stipulates heavy penalties consisting of jail terms ranging from six to 12 years and fines amounting to between IDR 1 billion and IDR 12 billion for people committing cyber crimes. The creativity and innovation being fostered by internet technology across a range of areas is impressive, but so to are the challenges for protecting privacy and security in the increasingly internet-centric world. The internet can now be used to discredit people or launch attack against consumers, business and government. Millions of people now use the internet for everything for doing homework to buying books or playing or downloading games, music and movies. Levels of user participation and publication on the internet also have risen. E-governance has become increasingly popular to provide public services that can

be digitalized such as tender documents and notary deeds. E-governance has been seen as especially appropriate for our public sector, which is internationally notorious as one of the most corrupt in the world because it minimizes physical contact, which is usually the initial step for corruption. Users are accessing the internet via various modes of wireless devices, from laptop to mobile phone. This reflect our increasing reliance on the internet for business and social activities, including health and education. The internet now connects more than two billion people but within the not-so-distant future it may connect many more billions of objects, from refrigerator to garage door. The challenge now is how to continue to make improved infrastructure and services available, encourage the creativity and innovation necessary to ensure economic growth and secure the future of the internet and the services it generates. The law meets the need for regulatory reform for communication networks and the many considerations surrounding digital content. Whereas separate and distinct networks once provided critical communication functions, these infrastructures are now converging toward the internet. Therefore, the implications of internet technology and e-transaction for economic and social activities have simply become too far-reaching and profound not to be governed by a special law. The government still has to issue five regulations as directive for the enforcement of the law and to enlighten the general public on the merits of such regulation to secure e-transaction and their implications on the future of our economy. Most important, though, we now have the legislation on which to build the legal infrastructure for the protection of all parties involved in electronic transactions and the providers of their infrastructure.