Indonesia reinstates access to Steam and Yahoo while other services remain banned

The new strict Kominfo licensing law requires companies to adhere to strict regulations

Indonesia reinstates access to Steam and Yahoo while other services remain bannedEpic Store, Origin, and some other services remain banned

Recently, Kominfo, the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, implemented the new strict regulations related to the new licensing act on Penyelenggara Sistem Elektronik Swasta or Private Electronic System Providers. All internet service and content providers had to comply before July 27, 2022. The requirements were mandatory for every local and foreign tech company that wants to do online business in Indonesia.

Those who did not meet the deadline were simply blocked, and Indonesian users lost access to multiple services. The ban was implemented on Friday last week, one day before the deadline. It affected multiple high-profile service providers such as Yahoo and PayPal, as well as the major gaming stores, including Epic Games Store and Steam.

Steam and Yahoo are now unblocked in the country as they reached full compliance, while some other major companies remain blocked. Kominfo allowed temporary usage of PayPal payment services starting from July 31 so that users would have time to transfer their funds over. The financial company is set to comply with the new regulations soon so that the services can be reinstated fully, according to local news agency Antara News.[1]

With Steam Access granted, people still can't use Epic Games and Origin

The gaming sphere was one of the most affected by this high-profile ban, as Indonesian players quickly noticed that they could no longer access Steam on July 27. Not only would they not be able to log into Steam, Origin, or Epic Games gaming platforms, but they are also unable to play games associated with them, including Fortnite, Fifa, Battlefield, and many other franchises.

Since Steam has already complied with the new local laws, all of the games coming from the platform are online again, including Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. It is yet not clear whether or not Epic and EA-owned Origin are set to comply with the new regulations, so there is no way to know how long the ban of the remaining companies would be kept in place.

Ban bypass and censoring issues

The content block comes as a part of a larger law known as MR5, which was first introduced back in 2020. The law allows the Indonesian government to regulate the content that is coming from all the platforms, which includes removing anything that it considers to be inappropriate to the broad public. The list of the companies that have already complied can be found on Kominfo's official website.[2]

It is understandable that people were mad about these changes, as many people woke up on Saturday only to realize they can no longer make payments via PayPal, access their Yahoo emails, or play their favorite games on Epic Games, Origin, and other gaming platforms. The hashtag #BlockirKominfo on Twitter has been trending since the ban implementation, and the community was outraged by the occurrence.

Users found ways to bypass these restrictions by employing standard anonymity-granting solutions such as VPN, although it also became clear that using an alternative DNS address (such as Google's) would allow users to continue using all the banned services in the country.

There were some unexpected outcomes in this story, as the director of Kominfo Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, has said he felt compassionate about gamers not being able to play their favorite games, and even an apology was issued.[3]

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Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

Ugnius Kiguolis is a professional malware analyst who is also the founder and the owner of 2-Spyware. At the moment, he takes over as Editor-in-chief.

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