The government is currently accelerating its efforts to establish a national cybersecurity agency. This idea to have a nationwide cybersecurity watchdog has been brewing for quite some time. It was mentioned for the first time in 2014, then President Joko Widodo mentioned the notion of “Badan Siber Nasional” (BSN) in a speech in 2015 and there were some discussions of a draft regulation in 2016. During his first cabinet summit of 2017, President Joko Widodo pushed BSN as a top priority program and has been insisting that his ministers complete BSN’s establishment “immediately”.

To date, there has been active inter-ministry discussion on a new presidential regulation to establish BSN, and it is expected that the regulation will be issued in the next month or two. BSN’s main roles will include nationwide protection of all cyber activities, oversight of and a coordination center for cyber-related government agencies/offices, and prevention/suppression of cyber threats to or attacks against the country. It remains to be seen how the government will regulate BSN’s intelligence or surveillance authorities in conducting its duties (especially in relation to the private sector and individuals) and whether or not BSN will have “enforcement” capabilities. It will also be interesting to see how BSN will interact with other existing agencies which have similar/identical purposes, including the Ministry of Defense’s State Cypher Agency, the National Intelligence Board’s Cyber Intelligence Unit, the Indonesian Police Force’s Cyber Crime Directorate and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ Indonesia Security Incident Response Team on Internet Infrastructure/Coordination Center.

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