Indonesia Has Shut Down Steam, Paypal, And Other Services Due To A Failed Regulatory Deadline

Indonesia Has Shut Down Steam

Due to their failure to follow the most recent licensing regulations, Indonesia has blacklisted PayPal, Yahoo, and well-known gaming websites like Epic Games and Steam.

All local and international businesses that provide internet services in the nation must register by November 2020. Signing up for this procedure, however, also granted authorities the authority to demand platforms remove any content that the government deems illegal or “disturbs public order” within a maximum of 24 hours.

Authorities have imposed deadlines on businesses to register under the new license requirements by Wednesday or face having their platforms removed. Although more than 5,900 local businesses and about 100 foreign businesses had registered by Monday, some, such as Meta and Google, waited until the deadline was extended until Friday to do so.

According to Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official in Indonesia’s communications ministry, several websites have already been removed for failing to register. Yahoo, PayPal, Steam, Epic Games, and other companies are among them.

The decision has drawn significant criticism from a wide range of users on social media, with hashtags like “Block Communication Ministry” (which translates to “Block Communication Ministry”) trending on Indonesian Twitter and people lamenting how the government has harmed the nation’s gaming industry and independent contractors who depend on PayPal.

A request for comment from Engadget was not immediately reacted to by PayPal or Valve. According to Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan, general director of Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information, the government may temporarily relax PayPal’s limitations to permit customers to withdraw money.

The new content control guidelines in Indonesia have drawn criticism from groups like the Human Rights Watch and Electronic Frontier Foundation. According to Linda Lakhdhir, Asia legal advisor for Human Rights Watch, “MR5 is a tool for censorship that imposes unrealistic demands on the numerous digital services and platforms that are used in Indonesia.” The privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information of Indonesian internet users are seriously jeopardized.

Many Indonesians have also shown their objection to the bill by using hashtags like “BlokirKominfo” to criticize the acts of the government. Pangerapan disregarded these objections on Saturday, claiming that the action will serve to protect the nation’s internet users.

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