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Asia Minute: Indonesia Seeks International Help with Cybercrime

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Computer hacking is a topic that has touched areas from international relations to the U.S. presidential election. Now the president of Indonesia says his country has seen a dramatic spike in cybercrime. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo says cybercrime in his country nearly quadrupled from 2014 to 2015.  That phrase covers a wide variety of nefarious online doings—from hacking to wire fraud and financial theft….but most of the crimes involve e-commerce.  Widodo talked about the issue before a cabinet meeting on Tuesday…and said the problem can be addressed by better coordination among existing government departments.

Earlier this summer, Indonesia cancelled plans to set up what it called a “National Cyber Agency”—because of budget issues.  Instead, the country is trying to tackle the problem with some cooperative ventures.  This week, a top Indonesian cabinet official announced plans to coordinate strategy on cybercrime with Russia.  The Jakarta Post reports the agreement is focused on countering transnational crime—especially terrorism.

As for e-commerce issues, Indonesia’s government has recruited a high-profile expert.  Earlier this month, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma agreed to join a 10 person committee to make policy recommendations to Indonesia’s leaders.  Ma is the chairman of Alibaba—an e-commerce giant with global operations and a market capitalization of more than $200 billion, making it one of the largest internet companies in the world.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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