The Indonesian government has blocked access to several online services including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and Yahoo because the companies failed to comply with a new requirement related to the country’s content moderation laws, as First reported by Reuters.

According to the rules, companies deemed “private electronic system providers” must register with the government’s database to operate in the country, or face a nationwide ban. Indonesia gave companies until July 27 to comply and has since banned those that have not.

The requirement is part of a wider law, known as MR5, which was first introduced in 2020. As Reuters noted, the laws give the Indonesian government the ability to obtain data about specific users, as well as force companies to remove content that “disturbing public order” or considered legal. The platform has four hours to process “immediate” takedown requests, or 24 hours in the case of other content.

A 2021 report by the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called Indonesia’s laws “offensive against human rights”, as it puts platforms at the mercy of the Indonesian government, which enforces local laws. In case of non-compliance, they will be banned. Earlier this month, the EFF wrote a letter to Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information (Kominfo), urging the government to repeal its “moderation of objectionable content laws.”


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