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Indonesia launches cyber agency to tackle extremism, fake news

JAKARTA: Indonesia launched a new cyber security agency yesterday as the world's biggest Muslim-majority country moved to tackle online religious extremism and fake news.

Millions of Indonesians have been going online for the first time just as concern over Internet hoaxes has reached a fever pitch.

One of the most high-profile cases recently was a false claim circulatinglast month that Beijing was seeking to wage biological warfare against Indonesia.

The hoax prompted the Chinese embassy to issue a statement saying that the reports were "misleading".

Yesterday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo named Major-General Djoko Setiadi, former chairman of the country's encryption agency, to lead the new body. His task will include cracking down on terrorist networks that communicate online and fighting online hate speech.

Last week, Indonesia said it was adding some 600 personnel to the ranks of its counter-terrorism police to crack down on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-inspired groups and other militants. - AFP

WORLD