Indonesia blocks several online services, including PayPal and Yahoo

The Indonesian government blocked a number of online services last weekend. These include search engine Yahoo, payment platform PayPal and various gaming sites. The services would not abide by the country’s regulations. However, the PayPal ban was reversed due to major problems for people who could no longer access their money. This writes Reuters.

Blockade

On Saturday, the Indonesian Ministry of Communications blocked several online services. The search engine Yahoo, game service Stream, and PayPal were blocked, among others. The PayPal block has been temporarily lifted until Friday. This gives users the option to transfer funds to another platform. PayPal has not yet responded.

Missed registration deadline

Under new legislation from November 2020, companies must register with the Indonesian government. The law, known in Indonesia as Ministerial Regulation 5, allows local authorities to request data from users of internet platforms if they believe it is necessary. The law also gives the government broad powers to force platforms to take down content that authorities consider to be inappropriate. To make this possible, internet companies were required to register. Companies were given until July 27, 2022, to register.

The companies that missed this registration deadline are now blocked. Online businesses are now temporarily blocked until they agree to the rules.

Large companies such as Google, Amazon and Meta would have registered just in time and have therefore not been blocked.

A lot of criticism

Indonesian internet users strongly criticized the measure. They believe, among other things, that the Indonesian online game industry is being hit hard. The new legislation has also been criticized a lot last year. The Electronic Frontier Foundation views government access to users’ personal data as a violation of human rights. Organization Human Rights Watch also commented on the law and believes that the law poses a risk to the right to privacy.

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