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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Blocked access to Epic Games, Paypal and Steam by the Indonesian Government

Following several firms' failure to adhere to a new requirement relating to the nation's rigorous content regulations, the Indonesian government has restricted access to a number of internet services, including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and Yahoo.

Companies classified as "Private Electronic System Providers" are required by law to register with the government's database to conduct business there; failure to do so will result in a national ban. Companies had until July 27 to comply; those who hadn't were subsequently prohibited by Indonesia.

A general law known as MR5, which was first issued in 2020, contains the provision. According to Reuters, the regulations enable the Indonesian government to get information about particular individuals and compel businesses to coerce companies into removing content that “disturbs public order” or is considered illegal. Platforms have four hours to take action on “urgent” removal requests or 24 hours in the case of any other content.

The rules of Indonesia are described as "intrusive of human rights" in a 2021 study from the digital rights organisation Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), as they subject platforms to the whims of the Indonesian government, which will prohibit them if they do not adhere to local regulations. The EFF requested that the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) remove its "intrusive content moderation policies" in a letter earlier this month.

If the businesses register and abide by the rules, the blocks are temporary, and Kominfo has already contacted these businesses to guarantee compliance and undo the barrier.

Due to the restriction, users in Indonesia can now not process payments or even play some games. Senior Daniel Ahmad made this observation as a senior analyst at Niko Partners, some other popular games and services affected by the ban include Origin, DOTA 2, and Counter-Strike.

In the interim, all companies who applied for licenses last week—Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix, and Spotify—remain available.

Steam, DOTA 2, and Counter-Strike will be unblocked once Valve registers with the Indonesian database, according to reports. Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan, general director of Kominfo, is quoted by Reuters as saying that beginning on July 31, consumers will be able to access PayPal for five days. The agency hasn't heard from PayPal, says Pangerapan, who also expresses his optimism that this small window will provide users "enough time to migrate, collect their money, and find other services."

As soon as the businesses registered with the nation's database, the prohibition would be lifted, according to Pangerapan. It is unknown whether these services will resume operation or register with the Indonesian government.


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