Indonesia: Valve, Steam return after brief ban, Epic Games still inaccessible

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Indonesia has blocked gaming websites including Epic Games, Steam, Valve, Ubisoft, Dota2, Counter Strike due to failure to comply with licensing rules that became effective recently. Apart from gaming websites, search engine website Yahoo, payments firm PayPal were also blocked in the south-asian country.

Under the new regulations, released in late November 2020 a registration is required by tech companies. The new regulations also give authorities broad powers to compel platforms to disclose data of certain users, and take down content deemed unlawful or that “disturbs public order” within four hours if urgent and 24 hours if not.

Technology giants Alphabet Inc, Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Inc rushed for registration in the last minute. The due date was on last Friday (29 July).

However, amid wide spread outrage on the social media, the Communication and Informatics Ministry (Kominfo) on Tuesday announced having gradually allowed access to international services — Yahoo, Steam, DOTA, and CS Go — after the owners registered their platforms to the system owned by the government.

“The ministry has managed to communicate with Yahoo and Valve Corp (Steam, CS Go, and DOTA),” the ministry’s spokesperson, Dedy Permadi, noted in his press statement on Tuesday.

“Access to four of these electronic systems has been in the process of normalization since 8:30 a.m. (local time) today,” he remarked.

The new regulation as first reported by Niko Partners, the law is imposed to local as well as foreign tech enterprises operating in Indonesia, which include game companies, who are (1) providing services within the territory of Indonesia, (2) doing business in Indonesia, and/or (3) whose electronic system is used and/or offered in the territory of Indonesia. Failure to comply will be met with the following steps: a formal warning, a monetary fine, and access termination.