Indonesia blocks sites: Indonesia blocks Yahoo!, Paypal, gaming sites due to license violation

Indonesia blocks search engine website Yahoo!, payment firm PayPal and a few gaming sites due to their failure to comply with licensing rules, an official said Saturday.

The move sparked a backlash on social media.

The rules, published at the end of November 2020, require registration, which will give the authorities broad powers to force platforms to disclose the data of certain users. It will also allow authorities to remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing the peace” within four hours if it’s urgent, and 24 hours if it’s not.

Several tech companies rushed to register days before the deadline, which was extended to Friday, including Alphabet, Meta Platforms like Facebook, Instagram as well as whatsappand Inc.

Semuel Abrigani Pangerapan, a senior official at the Indonesian Ministry of Communications, said in a text message that websites such as Yahoo!, Paypal and gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike and EpicGames, among others, have been blocked.

Paypal, private equity firm Apollo Global Management, the parent company of Yahoo!, and US game developer Valve Corporation, which manages 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 “BlockerCominfo” (Ministry of Communications Blocking), Epic Games and Paypal have gone viral on Indonesian Twitter, with many criticizing the government’s move as it will hurt Indonesia’s online gaming industry and freelancers using 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 country is an important market for a host of technology platforms.

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