The Badawi indigenous group in Indonesia has asked to cut off internet access in its area to “reduce the negative impact of smart phones and the virtual world” on its members, the group’s representatives said.
This community of 26,000 people in Banten Province, on the island of Java, is divided into two parts — a fringe group that partly embraces new technologies, and a central group that tries to avoid the dangers of modern life, reports Al-Rai daily quoting AFP.
The central group called on the authorities to cut off the internet and divert communications antennas located nearby so that the signal does not reach them, according to a letter seen by AFP.
According to the letter, telecommunications antennas built near their area can threaten the lifestyle of residents and the mental health of young people who may be inclined to use the Internet.
Officials in Lebak district of Banten province told AFP they had received the letter on Monday and had agreed to speak with the Indonesian Information Ministry to try to respond to the request.
The isolated Badawi community has chosen to live in the jungle, rejecting technology, traditional financial services, and education.
The community resides in three villages spread over 4,000 hectares, just hours’ drive from the capital, Jakarta.