December 8, 2023

Indonesia has lifted its ban on Steam and Yahoo now that both companies have complied with the country’s restrictive laws regulating online activity (via @ZhugeEX). Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information (Kominfo) announced the news in a translated update on Twitternoting that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 is online again.

Last week, Indonesia blocked access to Steam, PayPal, Yahoo, Epic Games and Origin after the companies failed to meet a deadline to register in the country’s database. This requirement is accompanied by a broader law, called MR5, which Indonesia first introduced in 2020. The law gives the Indonesian government the power to order platforms to remove content deemed illegal as well as request the data of specific users. In 2021, the digital rights team The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the policy “invasive on human rights”.

Although PayPal has yet to comply, Indonesia unblocked access to the service for five days from July 31 to give users a chance to withdraw money and make payments. According to Indonesian news outlet Antara NewsPayPal is reportedly planning to join the country’s database soon.

Epic Games and EA-owned Origin are still banned in the country, which makes the games like Fortnite and FIFA unplayable. The ban has sparked backlash among Indonesian users, who have made #BlockirKominfo (block Kominfo) a trending hashtag on Twitter. Some users have resorted to using a VPN (virtual private network) to play games from banned services.

There is no word on when Epic and Origin plan to comply with the country’s registration requirement. The lip reached out to both companies for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

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