TECH NEWS – Companies have not reacted to the new laws, so they have all ended up on the banned list, and the users are upset!
The Indonesian government has made many popular video game websites and internet services unavailable because the companies behind them failed to register for the new licensing rules. Behind the blocking is a government communications ministry, Kominfo. Unsurprisingly, the internet has been angry at the organisation, using the hashtag #BlokirKominfo (and many memes have been created just by searching for the term Kominfo).
The blocked sites and services list includes Steam, Epic Games Store, Battle.Net, Ubisoft, Origin, Nintendo, Yahoo, and PayPal. Let’s not deny it: many of us use these daily, and PayPal has since been unblocked by Kominfo, but only temporarily: users have been given five days to withdraw their money from there. (That isn’t helping much, is it?)
The new rules were introduced in November 2020. Indonesian authorities have the power to force platforms to hand over specific user data or remove content if they are found to be illegal or “disturbing the public order”, and it can happen as quick as four hours. Indonesia also urged tech companies to join with a July 20 deadline. Amazon, Facebook and Google responded, but the companies and services mentioned in the previous paragraph ignored it.
Gamers are rightly angry, but freelance creatives, paid internationally through PayPal, also have a right to speak out. There have also been accusations on social media that these new rules, and the lack of response from foreign companies, will severely impact the Indonesian creative and gaming industry. As the country with the largest population in Southeast Asia (274 million people), it has a significant gaming market share. According to Reuters, Indonesia has around 191 million internet users, so who knows how many are affected by the blockages.
It won’t end well if tech companies don’t respond… or if the government doesn’t repeal the laws in question.