Banning online services seems to be the new way of forcing companies to comply with rules. The Indonesian government has blocked numerous online services from operating in the country. However, this unexpected move is causing a lot of turmoil among the Indonesian residents who cannot access many popular and useful online services.
The sudden block became active after the government announced the deadline. Crucial services like PayPal, Yahoo, and Steam became unavailable for the citizens.
Why did Indonesia block these companies?
Reuters and The Verge reported that the main reason behind this ban is introducing a new policy to govern many internet service companies operating in the country. MR5 came into effect in 2020, and with a recent policy update, it lays down new guidelines for many online services. The government can now request data about specific users. Moreover, any content that “disturbs public order” or appears illegal must be taken down.
The law also specifies the time window in which the companies must take action on a request initiated by the Indonesian government. For routine requests, platforms need to do needful in under 24 hours, while the urgent requests need to be addressed in just 4 hours.
The law seems rather stern and outright invades the privacy of the citizens who use multiple online platforms. It doesn’t leave any room for negotiation for companies that can comply or be banned in Indonesia. While PayPal, Yahoo, and many more companies suffered the ban, some companies rushed to register before the deadline imposed by the Indonesian government. The list includes companies like Meta, Google, Amazon, and related products.
Citizens, especially those who use online services for monetizing their skill or conducting financial transactions, are shocked. Gamers cannot access Steam and its products, jeopardizing their streaming career. Similarly, freelancers who take payments using PayPal are stuck because they have no other means of receiving the funds.
The government agreed to unblock PayPal for a short while to ease the payment situation in the country. It seems like the companies don’t have any choice but to comply with all the rules imposed by the Indonesian government.