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Foreign Media Highlights the Blocking of Steam, Paypal, etc. By Kominfo In Indonesia

A number of foreign media also reported on the blocking of services such as Yahoo, Steam, PayPal, Dota, Epic Games, etc. in Indonesia, which was enforced by the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo).

One of them is English-language foreign media, Venture Beat. The media published the article on their website with the title “Steam, Epic, and other digital storefronts are currently banned in Indonesia” on Saturday (30/7/2022).

The article begins by writing that a number of platforms in the “Popular Game and Game Distribution” category in Indonesia, such as Steam, Epic Games Store, Origin, have been blocked.

This was done because the Indonesian government, in particular the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo), assessed that the digital platform was still “resilient” and did not want to comply with existing regulations in Indonesia.

Citing a statement from gaming industry analyst Niko Partners, it was found that there are at least four main objectives of the Private Scope Electronic System Operator (PSE).

The four goals include building a system for all Macro Business Units (UMK) in Indonesia, safeguarding Indonesia’s digital space, protecting public access to digital platforms, and creating a fair system between domestic and foreign PSEs, including tax collection.

Responding to these four rules, Venture Beat considers that there are some things that seem to be made without a solid foundation.

Venture Beat makes an analogy when a US development company, Valve, operates in Indonesia and decides not to register, then Steam users in Indonesia suddenly cannot access the games they have purchased on Steam.

This is considered not in line with the main objective of Kominfo’s third point, namely “protecting public access on digital platforms”. Because, basically the public already has access. The regulations made actually limit this access by blocking a number of PSEs.

The media also added that many people in Indonesia use these services for work.

Plus, until now the Twitch platform has also registered, this has made a number of creators indirectly “confused” because they can’t upload any content.

PCGamer Illustration of Steam Deck. Other foreign media

Reuters also gave a view. Foreign media, which often discuss business issues, and other global issues, started their articles with the public reaction on Twitter social media.

The article was uploaded to the official Reuters website with the title “Indonesia blocks Yahoo, Paypal, gaming websites over license breaches” on Saturday (30/7/2022).

The blocking was carried out based on the Kominfo policy which was released in November 2020.

However, Reuters thinks that the policy gives the government the authority to “force” the platform to disclose certain user data, to delete content when there is an urgent request, and so on.

Taking the statement from the Director General of Aptika Kominfo Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, it is said that the government is currently looking for an alternative solution for PayPal users.

It is likely that Kominfo will open website access from Paypal for a short time, so that users can retrieve their money that is still stored in their account.

Reuters also wrote that the Ministry of Communication and Information will unblock several sites, after the PSEs (digital platforms) want to register and comply with the rules. It is intended to protect internet users in Indonesia.

The article closes with data on the number of internet users, especially young people who understand social media in Southeast Asia. There are around 191 million users in the Asian region, which is considered a promising market for a number of technology platforms.

Other media that also enlivened this blocking were The Verge, End Gadget, The Gamer, and Neowin.

The four foreign media compactly discussed government regulations that “force” a number of platforms to delete content, disclose data, and so on.

EnGadget, in this case, adds expert views to assess the phenomena that occur in Indonesia. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch have criticized content regulations in Indonesia.

“The MR5 (Kominfo) regulation is a censorship tool that puts an unrealistic burden on many services, as well as digital platforms used in Indonesia. This poses a serious risk to the privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information of Indonesian internet users,” explained Linda Lakdhir, legal adviser to Asia Human Rights Watch.

In closing, the three foreign media, Neowin, The Verge, The Gamer, wrote that up to now Yahoo’s service , Paypal, Steam, and so on have not responded to the follow-up to the blocking carried out by Kominfo.

Meanwhile, EnGadget, has highlighted the phenomenon on Twitter which is busy using the hashtag “BlokirKominfo”. From KompasTekno’s observation, Sunday (31/7/2022) morning, the tweets are increasing and it says there are more than 122,000 tweets that have been uploaded.


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