Indonesia blocks websites: Indonesia blocks Yahoo!, Paypal and gaming websites for license violation

Indonesia has blocked search engine Yahoo!, payment company Paypal and several gaming sites for failing to follow licensing rules, an official said on Saturday.

This decision provoked a violent reaction on social networks.

Under rules published at the end of November 2020, registration is mandatory, which will give authorities broad powers to compel platforms to disclose certain users’ data. It would also allow authorities to remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing public order” within four hours in an emergency and 24 hours otherwise.

Several tech companies had rushed to register in the days leading up to the deadline – which was extended to Friday – including Alphabet, Meta Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and Amazon.com Inc.

Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official with Indonesia’s communications ministry, said in a text message that websites that have been blocked include Yahoo!, Paypal, and gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike, and EpicGames, among others. .

Paypal, Yahoo!’s parent private equity firm, Apollo Global Management, and US game developer Valve Corporation, which operates Steam, Dota and Counter-Strike, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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EpicGames could not be reached for comment.

Hashtags such as “BlokirKominfo” (block ministry of communication), Epic Games and Paypal were trending on Indonesian Twitter, with many criticizing the government’s decision as it would harm Indonesia’s online gaming industry and self-employed workers who use Paypal.

Pangerapan did not respond to a request for comment.

With an estimated 191 million internet users and a young, social media-savvy population, the Southeast Asian nation is a major market for a host of tech platforms.

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