The Indonesian government has blocked access to a range of online services including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal and Yahoo after the companies failed to meet a new requirement related to the country’s restrictive content moderation laws, as previously reported by Reuters.
Under the rules, companies deemed to be “private electronic system providers” must register with the government’s database to operate in the country or face a nationwide ban. Indonesia gave companies until July 27 to comply and has since banned those that have not.
The requirement is part of an overarching law, called MR5, which was first introduced in 2020. As noted Reuters, the laws give the Indonesian government the ability to obtain data on specific users, as well as compel companies to remove content that “disturbs public order” or is considered illegal. The platforms have four hours to act on “urgent” removal requests, or 24 hours in the case of any other content.
A 2021 report from the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls Indonesian laws “invasive for human rights” because they put the 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 write a letter to the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo), urging the government to repeal its “invasive content moderation rules”.
Quick update for those asking-
The lockdowns are not permanent, assuming businesses register and comply with regulations, and Kominfo has already reached out to those businesses to ensure compliance and reverse the lockdown.
Here is a list of affected services: pic.twitter.com/6K121xVEMP
—Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 30, 2022
The ban has left users in Indonesia stranded without the ability to process payments or even play some games. As indicated by Daniel Ahmadsenior analyst at Niko Partners, some other popular games and services affected by the ban include Origin, DOTA 2and Counter-Strike. Meanwhile, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix and Spotify registered for a license last weekand all remain available.
According Reuters, Kominfo chief executive Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan said the country may give users access to PayPal for a short time during the ban. Pangerapan also noted that the ban will be lifted once companies are registered in the country’s database. It is unclear when these services will come back online, or if they will register in the Indonesian database. PayPal, Epic Games and Valve did not immediately respond to The edgerequest for comment.