Indonesian government blocks Steam, Epic Games and several other services

The Government of Indonesia blocked the Steama Epic Games and a number of other services within its national territory. The blocks would only be temporary and related to local laws. Among others, the decision has also affected giants such as Yahoo and PayPalas well as games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, apparently as a reflection of the non-compliance with a mandatory requirement of the country.

According to Nikopartners, the regulation of the Indonesian authority known as Penyelenggara Sistem Elektronik Swasta (PSE), or Private Electronic Systems Provider, aims to “establish a system of all PSEs operating in Indonesia”. The idea would be regulate the digital space in the country“protecting public access on digital platforms” as well as creating a “fair system between domestic and foreign PSEs, including the terms for tax collection“.

Analyst Daniel Ahmed offered some information about what happened, saying that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology had contacted companies that were not complying with current regulations. The intention would be “ensure compliance and roll back the lock“, something that could happen if companies comply with government demands.

According to Reuters, foreign companies operating in Indonesian territory must register under the new rules, which were released in November 2020 by the local government. The text also states that companies must “give the authorities wide powers to oblige platforms to disclose data of certain users“, in addition to “removing content considered illegal or ‘disturbing public order.'” The deadlines for such actions would be 4 hours in urgent cases or 24 hours in other cases.

Big games like Valorant, PUBG Mobile and Roblox, on the other hand, would have regularized themselves, accepting the rules imposed by the Indonesian authorities in 2020. Therefore, these and other services that followed the same path were not banned by the PSE.

The deadline for international companies operating in Indonesian territory to regularize and agree to the rules if closed this past weekend — although many companies seem to have chosen to ignore the process. It is estimated that about 191 million users are being impacted for the blocks that, although theoretically temporary and can be reversed, are still in force.

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