PayPal block upsets Indonesian users

PayPal block upsets Indonesian users

Indonesia’s new licensing law faced an unexpected issue on Saturday after the Indonesian communication ministry blocked PayPal due to its failure to meet a deadline under new licensing rules.

The action meant users of the online payment firm could not access their money, sparking an online outcry. In the event temporary access to PayPal was permitted.

Reuters says the government has opened access to PayPal for five working days, enough time for users to migrate, get their money and find other services.

The Indonesian communication ministry on Saturday also blocked search engine website Yahoo, and several gaming services due to failures to meet a deadline under licensing rules.

Registration is required under rules first put forward in late November 2020. The originally deadline was 20 July this year. The system is regarded with some suspicion as it will give authorities broad powers to compel platforms to disclose data of certain users and take down content deemed unlawful or that "disturbs public order".

Complaints on Instagram suggested the government's move would adversely affect Indonesia's online gaming industry and freelance workers who use PayPal. A government spokesperson has said that the authorities will unblock the websites if they comply with registration rules.

Companies that have complied include Twitter, Zoom and Meta platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Late last month, as we reported, they were joined by Google parent company Alphabet.

Once a company is licensed the Indonesian government is able to compel it to disclose data of individuals and demand the removal of content government deems unlawful or disruptive to public order.

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