Indonesia blocks Steam, PayPal and other services over missed regulatory deadline

Indonesia is blocking residents from accessing various online platforms after those services failed to meet July 29 regulatory deadline, reports (Going through ). Among the platforms affected are PayPal, Steam and Yahoo (part of Engadget’s parent company, Apollo Management).

Under the country’s 2020 MR5 law, companies labeled as “providers of private electronic systems” had until this week to register with a government database or face an outright ban. Similar to that of India , MR5 gives Indonesia the power to compel online platforms to remove content that the government deems illegal or threatens public order. In the event of “urgent” requests, the services have four hours to act.

According Reuters, a handful of tech companies, including Google, Meta and Amazon, have been rushing in recent days to meet Friday’s deadline. Indonesia can 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, director general of Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information, told a local news network that the government may temporarily lift restrictions on PayPal to allow users to withdraw their money.

Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch have criticized Indonesia’s new content moderation rules. “[MR5] is a censorship tool that imposes unrealistic burdens on the many digital services and platforms used in Indonesia,” says Linda Lakhdhir, Asia legal adviser at Human Rights Watch. “This poses serious risks to the privacy, freedom of expression and access to information of Indonesian internet users.”

Many Indonesians have also spoken out against the law, using hashtags like “to express their opposition to government actions. On Saturday, Pangerapan dismissed those criticisms, saying the measure would help protect internet users in the country.

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