Indonesia has blocked Yahoo, Paypal, and gaming websites due to license violations

An official in Indonesia stated on Saturday that the country had blacklisted search engine Yahoo, payments business Paypal, and other gaming websites for failing to comply with licensing laws, provoking a social media reaction.

Registration is required under laws that will be announced in late November 2020. It would give authorities broad rights to compel platforms to provide data of specific users and remove content deemed illegal or that “disturbs public order” within four hours if urgent and 24 hours if not.

According to Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, a senior official at Indonesia’s Communications Ministry, websites that have been blocked include Yahoo, Paypal, and gaming sites such as Steam, Dota2, Counter-Strike, and EpicGames.

Paypal, Yahoo’s parent private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and Valve Corporation, which controls Steam, Dota, and Counter-Strike, did not answer demands for comment immediately. EpicGames did not respond to requests for comment.

On Indonesian Twitter, hashtags such as “BlokirKominfo” (block Communication Ministry), Epic Games, and Paypal trended, with many penning messages criticizing the government’s move as harming Indonesia’s online gaming business and freelance workers who utilize Paypal.

Pangerapan did not respond to an interview request. The Southeast Asian nation is a big market for various tech platforms, with an estimated 191 million internet users and a young, social-media-aware populace.