Indonesia is blocking residents from accessing various online platforms after those services failed to meet a July 29 regulatory deadline, reports have reported (above ). Affected platforms include PayPal, Steam, and Yahoo (owned by Engadget’s parent company, Apollo Management).
Under the country’s 2020 MR5 law, companies known as “private electronic system providers” had to register with a government database by this week or face an outright ban. Similar to India, MR5 gives Indonesia the power to force online platforms to remove content the government deems illegal or a threat to public order. For “urgent” requests, the services have four hours to take action.
Corresponding Reuters, a handful of tech companies including Google, Meta and Amazon have rushed to meet Friday’s deadline for the past few days. Indonesia may restore access to some of the online services currently blocked in the country, provided they register with the government.
PayPal and Valve did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the director-general of Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information, told a local news outlet that the government could temporarily lift restrictions on PayPal to allow users to withdraw their funds.
Organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch have criticized Indonesia’s new content moderation rules. “[MR5] is a tool of censorship that imposes unrealistic burdens on the many digital services and platforms used in Indonesia.” said Linda Lakhdhir, Legal Counsel for Asia at Human Rights Watch. “It poses serious risks to the privacy, freedom of expression and access to information of Indonesian netizens.”
Many Indonesians have also spoken out against the law, using hashtags like “‘ to express their opposition to the government’s actions. On Saturday, Pangerapan dismissed those criticisms, saying the measure would help protect internet users in the country.
Engadget was owned by Verizon between June 2015 and September 2021. Engadget’s parent company is now Yahoo Inc.
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