Sea lions, penguins, sharks and even a whale work together in an iconic BBC documentary clip that saw them devouring an entire shoal of sardines in less than an hour. Such is the brutal efficiency of predators when they work together.

Indonesia is channelling this same spirit of teamwork into defence, rather than attack. As they revamps its legal scene to become more efficient and reliable with tech, they are collaborating with other government agencies to strengthen cyber defence and ensure their courts remain secure.

Arie Sudihar, the Secretary-General of the Judicial Commission, shares how the Commission is working with other government agencies to digitalise and bolster its cyber defence.

Digitalising Indonesia’s courts

“The pandemic has forced rapid technological disruption,” says Arie. Already, the country is digitalising healthcare and turning to tech to better manage public spending, GovInsider reported.

The legal industry is no exception.

For instance, the country is using video conferencing to draft and sign treaties, said the country’s Director-General of International Law and Treaties Damos Dumoli Agusman to GovInsider.

Likewise, the Judicial Commission is using information and communication technology (ICT) to provide direct services to the public and for internal communications, Arie shares. In the coming years, they are also looking at improving their ICT to better help them handle public reports, he adds.

Another way the Commission uses tech is to help judges and law students access existing court documents. Machine learning can help them to find existing decisions made by Indonesia’s courts over the years, Arie explains.

The Commission is hoping to one day adopt AI to help “optimise work”, Arie shares. At the moment, they use AI to track the attendance of employees. “In the future, we will continue to strive to use AI to support the judicial Commission’s work,” he says.

How ASEAN can work together to digitalise 

There are several challenges Indonesia’s courts are facing in adopting new tech, but collaboration among ASEAN states may help to pave the way.

One challenge hindering tech adoption is determining what is appropriate for the organisation, Arie says. Information sharing across the nations can help organisations like the Judicial Commission learn from other legal systems and how they use tech.

“I hope that there will be an initiation to hold a meeting or a forum consisting of representatives of ASEAN countries to share information or knowledge of what technology is being used and being prepared for the future,” he says.

“In addition, we also need to enhance the capacity or the competence of our employees so that the technology that is applied then will not be useless,” Arie adds. After all, tech tools have no place in an organisation if no one knows how to use them.

To tackle this, the Judicial Commission is looking to “increase the competence of human resources”, Arie says. They are doing so by holding independent training sessions, while also working with other government agencies and private sector organisations to upskill their staff.

For instance, one skill that the Commission believes is important is the ability to investigate judges who have allegedly violated the code of ethics or conduct.

Such sharings can produce “a new standard of information technology” through staff training, or open up future possibilities in tech adoption, he says.

Teaming up to protect confidential information

As Indonesia digitalises its courts, cybersecurity becomes increasingly important. The Judicial Commission is working alongside other cyber agencies to strengthen its information security, says Arie. The Commission handles a large amount of confidential information, including the track record of judges and identities of complainants.

A strong cyber defence is needed to protect such information, Aerie explains. To achieve this, the Commission is working with other government agencies like the State Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Analysis and Forensics as well as the Deputy for Cyber Intelligence, he says.

For instance, the Judicial Commission is partnering with the State Intelligence Agency to create a “perimeter” in terms of information security, says Arie. This means setting up cyber devices and tools that will defend the network and secure any data or information that is within.

Meanwhile, the National Agency for Cyber and Encryption helps the Commission defend against common threats such as spam, phishing and malware, Arie adds. For example, they can do so by developing cybersecurity recommendations such as employee education and cyber response plans, according to GovInsider.

“This is the synergy between government institutions in Indonesia,” he says.

On its own, the Judicial Commission also ensures that strong protocols are in place to defend confidential information. For instance, the Commission is certified to have a strong information security management system by an international standardisation board.

“From these standards, the Commission makes improvements gradually on the policy and implementation fronts every year,” Arie shares.

Digitalisation and tech adoption can be a long and tedious process, but working together with others can help smoothen the road. With each party contributing a different building block, Indonesia may soon have tech-savvy and cybersafe legal organisations.