Indonesia Blocks PayPal, Steam Among Other Platforms, for Failing To Register With the Government
Indonesian citizens awoke to the news over the weekend that a number of popular and commonly used platforms are now no longer accessible in the country.
According to Reuters, among those affected are online payment giant PayPal, web search engine Yahoo and a number of online game platforms, including Steam, Epic Games and Battle Net, among others. These platforms and services reportedly failed to comply with the government’s new licensing regulations before the 29 July deadline – an extension from the original 20 July deadline – and were therefore blocked.
As to whether these platforms simply forgot to register or intentionally chose not to is perhaps another story. Under Indonesia’s 2020 MR5 law, the government essentially has power to order registrants to take down content it deems unlawful and disclose certain user data. Such orders could violate the policies and values of certain platforms, which led some to speculate that many of these platforms may have chosen not to register in protest of the law.
Several platforms reportedly rushed to register in days leading up to the deadline, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Amazon. The Indonesian government said access can still be restored to the blocked platforms if they choose to comply. PayPal, in particular, could be accessible for a short period, said the government, to allow locals to withdraw their money.
As of writing, none of the affected platforms have commented on the matter. CNN Indonesia, however, reported that Valve is in the process of completing its registration. This could bring back access to the platform itself as well as games it owns like DotA 2 and CSGO.
News of the blocks quickly spread on social media, with many Indonesians criticising the law, claiming it hurts the online gaming community and freelancers who may be receiving payments via PayPal. But the government seems firm with its stance on the law, justifying that it’s only there to protect internet users.
A number of popular online platforms became inaccessible in Indonesia over the weekend for failing to comply with the government’s new licensing regulations before the deadline.
Among those affected are online payment giant PayPal, web search engine Yahoo and a number of online game platforms, including Steam, Epic Games and Battle Net, among others.
Under Indonesia’s 2020 MR5 law, the government essentially has power to order registered tech companies to take down content it deems unlawful and disclose certain user data.
Steam, however, is reportedly in the process of completing its registration, which means it could soon be back up in the country.