I initially wanted to write this as an update to the previous post only. However, it got increasingly long-winded that I finally decided to dedicate an entire new post for this. There you go.
Beside Treespotter who started it all, I’d like to thank all the bloggers who duly passed this on and wrote about this matter in their own blogs. Let’s keep it resonating, pals ! Following is a list of the said bloggers who were bothered by this stupidity and potential consequences ( click on their names to read their respective posts ) :
- Budi Putra
- Leonnie FM
- Putra Nasution
- Antyo Rentjoko ( Tyo )
- Kotak Berkas
- One Stop News ( link is not working, the post was deleted )
- Ndoro Kakung
- Fortress of Solitude
- Jade Arlindita
- Jeremy Wagstaff / Loosewire
- CNet Asia ( via Budi Putra )
I am sorry if I am not aware of any more related posts from other bloggers on this. I will update when necessary. Apart from that, my hats off to Pitra Satvika, – who’s bothered enough to write an email to a rather-highly-placed person in the ministry; Boy Avianto, – who actively sent SMS to his circle of influence; and many other friends who speak up against this via various means ( mailing lists, blogs, IM, etc. )
On the other hand, I’m also deeply troubled by some arguments I received when I raised my voice in various network about this matter. Granted, – some of them argued innocently -, but it makes me wonder : If we, – as the society member -, fail to see that we are being wronged here; then what incentive the government have to change its policy ? In other words, why should they make the data private, – if some part of the society ( read : parents themselves ) agree with them ? Beats me….
Followings are their arguments and my rebuttals to each of them :
- ARGUMENT : “Let’s ask first what’s their reason for doing so. Maybe they have a valid goal…”
- MY ANSWER : What ? I don’t know what’s their reason, and frankly, I don’t want to know. There is no valid goal, – however noble it may sound -, that can be prioritized above our children’s safety.
- ARGUMENT : “Where’s the link ? It’s just a cheap talk without any proof..”
- MY ANSWER : To post a link is to go against our very own purpose : to hinder this sensitive data sharing, can’t you see that ? Or are you implying that I and 5 other bloggers are a very accomplished team of concerted liars ? If yes, please tell the world about it, – we might well deserve an Oscar for the performance 🙂
- ARGUMENT : “The data is not completely valid anyway…”
- MY ANSWER : First, the data is valid. Me and several other bloggers have downloaded the files and see that they contain what we suspected. Some bloggers even found their own children’s data there. Second, say, even if the data is only 40 % valid; I will still raise this issue for that 40 %. Hell, I will still do it even if there are only 100 valid data.
- ARGUMENT : “Why does it matter ? Names and addresses are similar to what you’ll find in a phone directory. It’s the sensitive data like bank accounts which can not be shared publicly…”
- MY ANSWER : Unless you live in an utopian world, crime happens. Would you give your kids’ data to anyone you meet in the street ? Also, the fact that you mentioned bank accounts as a more sensitive data, – tells me that you value finance more than the children’s safety. Should I say more ?
- ARGUMENT : “We could spend months debating about the validity of the policy….”
- MY ANSWER : Am I hearing things ? We’re dealing with lives here. I say take it down first, – and then we’ll talk.
- ARGUMENT : “Why are you so hyped-up about this ?”
- MY ANSWER : Because I’m a father. Because if I see this grievous, sad and capital mistake is happening; and I don’t do anything as a society member to speak against it, – then I consider my hands dirty. Please ask yourself this question, Sir : “If even just one of those kids got kidnapped or molested; can you sleep at night, – knowing that you didn’t do anything about it ?” I can’t. If you can, then I salute you for being a truly remarkable person..
That’s about some of them. There are many more, but I won’t risk your boredom 🙂 Please understand that on the course of translating them to English, I might have paraphrased.
They seriously saddened me. They make the word of an online friend of mine rings true :”Indonesia needs to be put outside Beta status..” I can only pray that there are more people with deeper and more complete personal capacity in our society…..
Last but certainly not least, let me re-state that I will continue to be loud about this until there is a satisfactory solution. For those who agree, please relay this message in whatever media of your choice. For those who don’t, please recall that this is my blog, – I decided to take a hard stand about this in my domain. And that’s that…
The prominent Indonesia news portal, Detik, has written several news post about this. In one of them, a Depdiknas official responded verbally to this matter. Among all others, one of the things he said was ( translated ) : “But this is still nothing more than a worrying development. Has it been proven yet ? If it has, please inform us, we at Depdiknas are ready to receive your complaints..”
Is this exactly how we are going to steer this country ? With idiocy and justification ? What needs to be proven ? Does the aforementioned official really recommend us to wait for a proven crime sparked by the available data ? Wait until there is a lifeless, molested body of a child available ? I repeat, this is idiocy….
Several bloggers, – my wife included, reported that the files are still available, but with the address deleted. This looks like a good development. I will continue to speak until all the data is made unavailable or guarded by a restricted access. For those of you who are not aware of the danger of possible identity theft from even a minimal number of data, please read Jeremy’s good article first before commenting.
Also today ( 14 October 2008 ), a famous Indonesia newspaper, Koran Tempo, has written about the danger of this matter in its editorial, and reported it in a different news story ( The links may require you to signup/login first before you can read the article image ). This is a small step to victory because it tells me that we are loud enough to be heard by a mainstream media who in turn tells the tale. 🙂
On the 15th of October, the Depdiknas portal posted an official notice stating that “the online access to the data is now closed”. Following is an excerpt in Bahasa Indonesia :
Does it mean that the battle was won ? Not until this has been verified, and until Google has deleted its cache as well.