While Indonesia is a democracy, it is currently considered as “partly free” by the Freedom House due to the fact that censorship is in place to prevent access to social media websites and certain political content. Internet is under surveillance and many websites are blocked or partially censored. Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world and content that is deemed as pornographic or offensive is strictly prohibited and can be blocked/filtered by government officials.
The controversial Electronic Transactions Law (2008), has an article that establishes that anyone who is found distributing or allowing access to “defamatory electronic document and/or information” faces prosecution, even if this was done unintentionally. People have been sentenced to prison under this law, which also contemplates fines of up to 1 billion Indonesian Rupiah, which is roughly 76,000 USD.
In most cases, censorship in Indonesia is regulated by ISPs and it can be applied inconsistently and without any clear pattern. YouTube has been blocked in the past, and in early 2016, the government issued a warning to Google, Facebook and Twitter, stating that if they didn’t pay tax, they would face blockings. Websites like Vimeo, Reddit and Imgur are blocked because some of the content found in these platforms was deemed as pornographic.
In 2008, the Indonesian government published a draft regulation with a list of categories that ISPs are required to block or filter. This includes pornography, gambling, hate incitement, threats of violence, exposure of private information, intellectual property, false information and degrading content. The categories are so vague and can cover such a large selection of content that the proposed legislation was received with public opposition. As a result, the draft regulation was not implemented and the government announced that it would take time to review suggestions.
Why should you use a VPN in Indonesia
Since VPN is heavily censored in Indonesia, using a VPN is a practical option to bypass filters and encrypt data to ensure that it is not compromised or monitored. Your ISP won’t be able to see what you are doing on internet and your activity can’t be traced back to you, keeping your privacy secure.
The majority of VPN providers that have servers in South Asia, support locations like Singapore and Hong Kong. The latter is ideal for internet freedom because it is not subject to the censorship that affects other nations and no mandatory data retention laws are in place. While Singapore is closer and may provide better speeds for customers in Indonesia, internet is regulated and there are some data retention laws, although these are not too strict.
Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN is another option that should be considered when it comes to VPNs for Indonesia. They have fantastic clients for Windows and Mac OS X, as well as solid apps for Android and iOS. You can easily select the protocol and level of encryption that better suits you, but it is advisable to opt for 256-bit OpenVPN if you are looking for high security. They have servers in 141 countries so you will enjoy versatility for browsing, streaming or downloading content.
Hide My Ass
HMA has managed to remain in a leading position in the VPN industry and it is recognized, not only for its amusing image but also for offering a service that is fast and efficient. Its client is easy to use and provides access to servers in almost every country in the world. The main downside of HMA is that it is based in the UK, which makes it more vulnerable to surveillance from the GHCQ. However, it is unlikely that this affects users in Indonesia since their data wouldn’t be handed to authorities in that country.
ExpressVPN is remarkably fast and efficient. Since it has servers in over 85 countries, you can easily find an option that is ideal for streaming or for enjoying good speeds when you connect from Indonesia. They don’t keep activity logs and their generous 30-day money back guarantee allows you to claim your money back in case the service doesn’t work well for you. Although that is unlikely to happen since it is one of the best providers out there.
Golden Frog is a consortium that is dedicated to offering online services that help users to safeguard their online freedom. VyprVPN is a convenient VPN solution that stands out thanks to its exclusive Chameleon technology, which provides security and versatility since it can defeat firewalls and Deep Packet Inspection. You will be able to bypass VPN blocking because the fact that you are using a VPN will be effectively covered.
With IPVanish, you can get access to a reliable network of servers that support convenient locations near Indonesia, including Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Although IPVanish is a US company and it mat be affected by data retention and NSA surveillance, it offers a no logs policy and shared IPs to help you to protect your privacy. IPVanish supports good speeds and affordable prices.