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

Indonesia blocks citizens from accessing various online platforms after these services failed to meet a July 29 regulatory deadline, reports (via ). Among the affected platforms are PayPal, Steam and Yahoo (owned by Engadget’s parent company Apollo Management).

Under the country’s 2020 MR5 law, companies labeled as “Private Electronic System Providers” had until this week to register in a public database or face an outright ban. Like India’s, MR5 gives Indonesia the power to force online platforms to remove content the government deems illegal or a threat to public order. In cases involving “urgent” requests, the services have four hours to take action.

In accordance Reuters, a handful of tech companies, including Google, Meta and Amazon, rushed in recent days to meet Friday̵[ads1]7;s deadline. Indonesia can restore access to some of the online services currently blocked in the country, provided they register with the authorities.

PayPal and Valve did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the director general of Indonesia’s Communications and Information Ministry, told a local news network that the government may temporarily lift restrictions on PayPal to allow users to withdraw their money.

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

Many Indonesians have also gone against the law by using hashtags such as “” to express their opposition to the government’s actions. On Saturday, Pangerapan rejected these criticisms, saying the measure would help protect the country’s internet users.

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