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Indonesia Unblocks Steam, PayPal, And Yahoo After Licensing Spat

Indonesia has officially unblocked gaming platform, Steam, as well as payment firm PayPal, and search engine, Yahoo after licensing spat.
Indonesia Unblocks Steam, PayPal, And Yahoo After Licensing Spat
It’s been a couple of days since the Indonesian government officially blocked various online platforms and services from the public over licensing issues. The blocking left the Indonesian gaming community in shambles, considering some of the most widely-played games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had been blocked. Although temporary until representing companies comply with Indonesian jurisdiction, it’s been a rocky weekend for gamers.

On 1st August 2022, the Indonesian government (Kominfo) unblocked the gaming platform, Steam, payments firm PayPal, and search engine, Yahoo over licensing issues. The aforementioned companies have complied with Indonesian jurisdiction. However, Origin and Epic Games haven't publically addressed the blocking and remain blocked.

Steam, PayPal, & Yahoo Comply With Kominfo

Indonesia has unblocked Steam, PayPal, and Yahoo.
Indonesia has unblocked Steam, PayPal, and Yahoo. (Picture: Steam)

The unblocking comes after platforms and many others were blocked on 29th July 2022 amid licensing drama. The Indonesian government blocked Steam, Origin, Epic Games, and Battle.net on that date after not complying with its online platform and services law. 

This Monday, the Indonesian government announced Steam, PayPal, and Yahoo were unblocked and reinstated after complying with Kominfo by registering themselves under Indonesian jurisdiction.

It's been a difficult couple of days, but unblocking the aforementioned platforms and services should mean a much more enjoyable week ahead for Indonesia's gaming community. This is good news for Indonesian gamers, as it means they can play games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive again. However, it also could mean a significant shift in the system for gamers. 

Epic Games and Origin remain blocked and still haven't publically addressed its Indonesian community about what's to be expected moving forward. 

How Does Indonesia's Law Affect Its Gamers?

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Dota 2 is now playable in Indonesia. (Picture: Steam)

In an informative article by Electronic Frontier Foundation, Indonesia has 191 million netizens who access platforms and services online, from Instagram to Steam and even Yahoo. The law ordered by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court allows the government “to block internet access during periods of unrest” and many more things.

The government has ordered all foreign online platforms and services to comply and register their companies under Indonesian jurisdiction. Under the law, the Indonesian government will have the power to compel platforms to disclose data of specific users and take down unlawful content. 

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most widely-known first-person shooters in Indonesia.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most widely-known first-person shooters in Indonesia. (Picture: Steam)

Not only are these platforms or services like Steam or PayPal ordered to oblige, but secure private messaging apps like Messenger, Whatsapp, and iMessage. This ruling means the government wants to close secure end-to-end encryption messaging.

Platforms and services need an identification certificate, even if company infrastructures are outside Indonesia. If platforms like Origin or Epic games want to provide their games in Indonesia, they’ll need to register their company under the government. This ruling allows the government to compel companies to give what they want or revoke their services or platforms.

If a company refuses to grant the government access to its “systems and data to ensure effectiveness in the monitoring and law enforcement process.” That company can be warned, temporarily blocked, blocked, or revoked.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now playable in Indonesia.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now playable in Indonesia. (Picture: Steam)

For gamers, the licensing law gives the Indonesian government control over what’s filtered to the public, meaning if a game doesn’t see fit for officials, they have every right to compel the platforms to take it down or block them.

In other words, if they find Dota 2 or a cosmetic or feature in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive offensive or harmful to “lawful order,” they can force Steam to take the game down, make adjustments, or remove these features. 

Dota 2 is one of the most widely-played games in Indonesia.
Dota 2 is one of the most widely-played games in Indonesia. (Picture: Steam)

In the end, Indonesian gamers won’t only have their free expression and online activity monitored, but playing new and old games might get much more complicated. It might get a little more challenging to truly explore the freedom of the internet, let alone games online, with Indonesia’s law slamming down on platforms and services.

Time will only tell if gaming will be massively affected and revolutionized because of the law approaching the future as Indonesia’s gaming community shifts during tumultuous times.

For more related gaming content, head to our section dedicated to video game news, updates, guides, and more!

 

Featured image courtesy of Steam.