The Indonesian government has blocked access to a range of online services, including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal and Yahoo, after the companies failed to comply with a new requirement related to the country’s restrictive content moderation laws. as previously reported by Reuters.
In accordance with the rules, companies that are considered “Private Electronic System Providers” must register with the government’s database to operate in the country, or else face a nationwide ban. Indonesia gave companies until July 27 to comply and has since banned companies that haven’t.
The requirement is part of an overarching law called MR5, which was first introduced in 2020. As noted by Reuters, the laws allow the Indonesian government to obtain data about specific users and force companies to remove content that “disrupts public order” or is considered illegal. Platforms have four hours to act on “urgent” takedown requests, or 24 hours in the case of other content.
A 2021 report from the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls Indonesia’s laws “human rights invasive” as it leaves platforms at the mercy of the Indonesian government, which will ban them if they don’t comply with local laws. Earlier this month, the EFF wrote a letter to Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information (Kominfo), urging the government to withdraw its “invasive content moderation rules.”
Quick update for those who ask-
The blocks are not permanent, assuming the companies register and comply with regulations, and Kominfo has already contacted these companies to ensure compliance and unblock them.
Here is a list of affected services: pic.twitter.com/6K121xVEMP
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 30, 2022
The ban means users are stuck in Indonesia without the ability to process payments or even play certain games. as indicated out by Daniel Ahmada senior analyst at Niko Partners, some other popular games and services covered by the ban include Origin, DOTA 2and Counter attack. Meanwhile, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix and Spotify registered for a license last weekand they all remain available.
According to ReutersSemuel Abrijani Pangerapan, chief executive of Kominfo, said the country will allow users to access PayPal for a short period of time during the ban. Pangerapan also noted that the ban will be lifted once the companies register with the country’s database. It is unclear when these services will come back online, or if they will register with the Indonesian database. PayPal, Epic Games and Valve did not immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment.