Indonesia has blocked the Yahoo search engine website, PayPal payment system and a number of gambling portals including Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike and EpicGames for failing to comply with licensing rules, Reuters reported, citing a senior official at Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and information technology.
According to the rules introduced in Indonesia, which will come into effect at the end of November 2020, it is imperative for companies to be registered. Under these rules, authorities have broad powers to force companies to disclose some user data and remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing public order.” If the supervisory authority deems it urgent to remove the content, the website is obliged to do so within four hours, in other cases 24 hours are allotted for removing the content.
Subject to the extension, the registration period ended last Friday. A number of companies including Alphabet Inc, Facebook* Meta Platforms Inc., Instagram* and WhatsApp and Amazon.com Inc. had signed up days earlier.
The lockdown caused outrage among the country’s netizens. Indonesia’s Twitter was full of posts criticizing the government’s actions as harming Indonesia’s online gambling industry and freelancers who use PayPal to pay.
Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, director-general of information and communications technology at Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said authorities would unblock websites if they followed the registration rules. He also promised that the government will find a way so that users’ interests are not harmed and they can withdraw their deposits from their PayPal accounts.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision, activities on the grounds of Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On Combating Extremist Activity”.