The original version of the Secure My Video Guide was largely based on the Indonesian context. It guided which issues were covered in the guide. In order to give context to the rest of the guide, we are presenting the context in which the original guide was based on. Many of the realities in Indonesia are experienced in other parts of the world, so we believed its inclusion is still relevant.

The Indonesian Context

[Compiled from VIDEOCHRONIC and GISWatch 2011 Indonesia Country Report.]

Since 2000 Indonesia has seen a dramatic increase in the use of video as a social change tool by community, campaign and activist organisations. Access to the tools for producing video have become increasingly democratised over this period, and rapidly adopted. Since the fall of Suharto’s New Order regime, space has been opened up for a host of new media projects to emerge. Individuals and organisations dealing with issues such as the environment, human rights, queer and gender issues, cultural pluralism, militarism, poverty, labour rights, globalisation and more have embraced video as a tool to communicate with both their bases and new audiences.

The experience of the 1998 political uprising that overthrew the Suharto regime demonstrated the power of digital video in generating extensive socio-political changes by mobilising people in support of a new government. In the build up to the end of the regime, footage of the shootings of Trisakti University students in Jakarta, much of which was ‘amateur’ footage shot by bystanders, was aired on television inside and outside Indonesia. These images sparked sentiments of national solidarity, leading to mass student protests in several cities across Indonesia, denouncing the New Order regime.

However, today, without the same momentum of mass direct action on the streets that characterised the end of the 20th century in Indonesia, the ways that video can be used to affect change are more ambiguous. Realising that they cannot rely on the foreign press to expose humiliating human rights violation cases, campaigners push their videos through other avenues, such as EngageMedia, YouTube, and Facebook, where, instead of relying on news corporation producers activists can become the producers and distributors themselves. In becoming more independent, however, this also shifts their responsibilities, particularly concerns regarding security, both in relation to themselves and whomever they bring to screens across the planet.

Not only is there little knowledge of internet and digital data security issues throughout Indonesia, there is poor understanding of the implications of uninformed consent, particularly in the case of footage that could undermine the security of those interviewed and by-standers who just happened to be in shot.

With broadband concentrated in major capitals, inconsistent internet access elsewhere, humidity that can play havoc with all forms of data storage from tape to the organic dye layer of writable CD-ROM and DVDs and increasingly sophisticated forms of digital surveillance pervading social media spaces the challenges are many, but not insurmountable.