Indonesia blocks access to Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and more

The Indonesian government has blocked access to several online services, including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal and Yahoo!. According to the country’s rules, the companies did not comply with the new requirement related to content moderation.

Users of these services were left without the ability to process payments or play certain titles. As Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmed noted, the ban list also includes DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, Origin and Xandr.

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Meanwhile, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix and Spotify all signed up for licenses last week, and all remain available.

Cominfo Director General Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan told Reuters that the ban on these companies would be lifted once they were registered in the database.

In addition, he said the country may allow temporary access to PayPal during the ban so users can withdraw money from their accounts – information confirmed by Ahmed in a tweet:

What does the law say?

Under the law, companies that are considered “private electronic systems providers” have until July 27 to register with the government’s database. However, because they did not do it, they were banned in the country.

This requirement is part of a wider law called MR5, which was introduced in 2020. According to Reuters, it gives the government the ability to obtain data about specific users, in addition to requiring the removal of content that violates public order or is deemed illegal.

In 2021, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called these laws a “human rights invader”. This is because they put the platforms at the mercy of the Indonesian government, which will ban them if they don’t comply.

Earlier this month, the EFF wrote a letter to Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information (Kominfo) asking the government to withdraw its “rules for moderating intrusive content”.

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Via The Verge

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