News Desk, Jakarta – The Communications and Information Ministry has blocked access to eight popular electronic services providers (ESPs) – including Yahoo, Steam and PayPal – for failing to register under a controversial licensing regime.
The ministry has said it would block any ESP that failed to register and that registrants would have to comply with its content-moderation rules, as stipulated in a 2020 ministerial regulation on private ESPs.
Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the ministry's informatics applications director general confirmed on Saturday that search engine Yahoo, video game digital distribution service Steam and online payment service PayPal were among eight ESPs that have been blocked.
"There are [a total of] eight [ESPs]," Semuel told Detik. The other ESPs are online game platforms Dota, Counter-Strike, Epic Games and Origin.com, and data platform Xandr.com.
Massively popular platforms such as Zoom, Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google and YouTube have registered under the controversial licensing regime.
Some 200 foreign and 8,000 domestic private ESPs had registered with the Communications and Information Ministry before last week's deadline.
All registered platforms must take down content that "incites unrest" or "disturbs public order" within 24 hours of receiving a ministry instruction to do so.
If the content contains child pornography or messages supporting terrorism – or if the ministry feels there is an immediate need to remove the content for the sake of public order – registered platforms will have four hours to remove the offending post following the ministry's warning.
If a platform ignores the order, the ministry can order internet service providers to block access to it.
Critics have raised concerns that such ESPs will find it easier to simply self-censor content and provide ready access to user data than risk tangling with regulators in an opaque legal system.
The rule on ESPs itself is one of a set of implementing regulations issued to carry out Government Regulation No. 71/2019 on electronic systems and transactions, which is based on the draconian Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, which has been used to silence activists and government critics. (dre)