Three Indonesian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Telkom, Biznet, and Matrixnet Global are somewhat under fire now as they will face 15-year imprisonment charges if they are proven guilty of spying on their users. This incident came under scrutiny after the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs Citizen Lab published a report last week which found that as many as 25 countries are infected by the remote intrusion and surveillance software FinSpy.
With FinSpy, people can capture information from an infected computer, like passwords and even Skype calls. The program should have been marketed and sold exclusively to law enforcers and intelligence agencies to help monitor criminals. But so far, the same software has been spotted being misused by other parties.
With three Indonesian ISPs’ IP addresses being identified among the wrongdoers, the Indonesian ICT ministry is now investigating this matter. Kompas cited Biznet’s president director and Telkom’s head of corporate communications and affairs said that both companies do not spy on their users. They both added that they are checking who exactly owns the IP addresses.
The Telkom representative speculate that the IP address owner is a Telkom Transit customer. Concerning blocking those IP addresses, he said that the company can only do so if asked by Indonesia’s computer emergency response team which acts under the ICT ministry.
Besides Indonesia, the other Asia-Pacific countries found to be currently infected by the FinSpy software are Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Spying is a cause for concern in this time and age, and governments tend to do that quite often. But when it is done by local companies, it is even worse.