Indonesia denies access to Yahoo, PayPal, gaming websites over license breaches

Tuesday 2 August 2022 14:43 CET | News

Indonesia has reportedly blocked the search engine Yahoo, online payments giant PayPal, and several gaming websites for failing to comply with licensing rules.

The ban comes after the country’s government urged tech companies at the beginning of August 2022 to register following the new licensing rules or run the risk of having their platforms temporarily blocked. However, many of the world’s biggest tech corporations, including Alphabet (which owns Google), Twitter, and Meta (the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, among others) are yet to comply with the new rules.

New rules

The register requirement is part of a new set of rules that was first released in November 2020 and imposes increased security and content regulation check. According to the new regulation, authorities can order platforms to take down content that is deemed unlawful or disturbing for the public order within four hours, if considered urgent, or 24 hours if not. 

The government can also force companies to disclose communications and personal data of specific users if requested as per law enforcement or governmental agencies. As per Indonesia’s authorities, the rules have been formulated to ensure Internet service providers protect consumer data, and that the content promoted is only used for positive and productive purposes.

Indonesia blocks search engine Yahoo, online payments giant PayPal, and several gaming websites for failing to comply with licensing rules.


Concerns and debates

However, the latest changes may pose a threat to the freedom of expression and privacy, as some activists in the country suggest. With over 191 million social media users as of February 2022, Indonesia is only surpassed by India and China in the Asia Pacific region, which is a strong motivation for uncompilable tech companies to take a step forward and align with the government’s latest rules.

The rules sparked a heated debate in the country, many citing censorship fears and intrusion of the state. As of 1 August 2022, almost 6,000 domestic companies and 108 foreign companies have registered, including popular social media platform TikTok and music giant Spotify. 

Indonesia is one of the top-10 markets in the world with a predominantly tech-savvy population of around 270 million inhabitants and has been long targeted by social media companies and other tech companies as a major pipeline for boosting sales and visibility.

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Keywords: regulation, regulatory sandbox, social commerce, online platform, compliance
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: PayPal, Yahoo
Countries: Indonesia
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime




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