Indonesia blocks online services for Steam, Epic Games and other tech giants

Formal registration is now required.

Indonesia has blocked online services for Steam, Epic Games, Battle.net, Origin and other tech giants under a regulation imposed by the Ministry of Communication and Technology Information.

According to Nico Partners, regulation no. 5 of 2020 on Penyelenggara Sistem Elektronik Swasta (PSE) – or MR5 – requires local and foreign technology companies operating in the country to register with the government in order to continue their regular operations.

Engadget claims that MR5 allows the Indonesian government to force online service providers to remove content it deems illegal or threatens public order.

Human Rights Watch criticized the new regulations.

“[MR5] is a tool of censorship that imposes unrealistic burdens on the many digital services and platforms used in Indonesia,” said Linda Lakhdhir, legal counsel for Asia at Human Rights Watch. “This poses serious risks to the privacy, freedom of expression and access to information of Indonesian internet users.”

Indonesians also took to social media to criticize MR5, using the hashtag #BlokirKominfowhich roughly translates to “block communications and information”.

The regulations are also impacting tech companies outside of gaming, including LinkedIn, PayPal, Amazon, Yahoo, Bing and Alibaba. Companies like Google and YouTube have met the government’s registration deadline and are operating unimpeded.

The Indonesian government’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said late yesterday that services like PayPal had been temporarily restored as it defended the regulations.

“This registration is not a permit and can be done very simply,” said Minister Johnny Plate.

“Kominfo cleans up [illegal platforms]including online gambling, radicalism, terrorism, pornography, especially child pornography, and other illegal businesses in the digital space,” he continued.

This article may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Stevivor is an independent media and our journalism is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

Veronica J. Snell