The bill, drafted by the Defense Ministry, stipulates that state information about security, foreign relations, law enforcement, intelligence and encryption should not be made available to the public, Press Council member Agus Sudibyo said.
"The TNI [Indonesian Military], for example, is a public institution funded by a state budget, and thus has to be transparent," Agus said during a recent discussion at the Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Jakarta.
"It will be dangerous if this bill is approved.
LIPI defense expert Jaleswari Pramodhawardani echoed Agus
, saying that the bill would limit press freedom, since things such as the defense budget would remain top secret.
"I understand that things related to state security, such as defense strategy, should be kept secret.
The defense budget, on the other hand, should be made available to the public," Jaleswari said.
said that the bill would be at cross purposes with the 2008 Freedom of Information Law, which came into force in April 2010.
According to the law, all information, including that held by the TNI, should be made available to the public, as long as its revelation does not pose a threat to state security.
"Unlike the state secrets bill, the 2008 law regulates the type of the information that is confidential, instead of the institution," Agus
criticized the bill for stating that whoever revealed a "state secret", as broadly defined by the bill, could be given hefty punishments, such as a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or required to pay a maximum fine of Rp 1 billion (US$103,231).
"This is so unfair.
The punishments should be imposed on the officials and institutions who fail to protect the state secrets," Agus