Indonesia has taken the digital world by surprise, as the government has banned several digital services such as Steam, Epic Games, Yahoo and others after these companies failed to comply with licensing rules.
Under rules Indonesia issued in November 2020, all of these digital services will need to be registered, and will require them to give authorities the ability to force them to disclose user data. Under the said rules, the government can remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing public order” within four hours if it is urgent and 24 hours if not.
Those that have been blocked include Yahoo, PayPal, Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike and Epic Games. As of this writing, PayPal’s five-day ban has been unblocked to give users “enough time to migrate, get their money, and find other services.” , while Valve is working to comply with Indonesia’s requirements.
While many digital services have been blocked by Indonesia, about 5,900 domestic companies and 108 foreign companies were registered as of July 18. These companies include Spotify, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix and TikTok. Despite the current situation, the authorities will unblock these digital services as long as they comply with the registration rules. Pangerapan explained that they are doing this as a way to protect Indonesian internet users.
Aside from the backlash it received, a number of organizations have been calling out Indonesia’s laws, with the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calling the laws a human rights violation to put these digital services at the government’s mercy. . The group even wrote a letter to the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Information (Kominfo), asking it to repeal invasive content modification rules.