If that comes to fruition, say goodbye to virtually all forms of online productivity and entertainment, as Indonesia threatens to ban some of the world’s biggest internet companies.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has set July 20 as the deadline – two days from today – for local and international internet services to officially register as an Electronic Systems Provider (ESP). with the ministry. Failure to comply would result in an operational ban in the country beginning July 21.
Among the list of non-PES flagged by the ministry are Google and its suite of services, including YouTube, as well as Meta’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Other big names include Netflix, PUBG Mobile, and Mobile Legends.
The last two mobile games have said they are working on their PSE registration, but there’s no word yet on Meta and Google’s compliance intent.
Those that have registered as PSEs include local apps Gojek, Tokopedia, Traveloka, as well as international apps like Spotify and Linktree.
The threat of a ban from the ministry is certainly not new, as companies have missed deadlines without any noticeable consequences.
The ministry issued a regulation requiring digital services to register as ESPs, for cybersecurity and user protection purposes, on November 24, 2020, or risk being banned in Indonesia. But the threat has proven to be a bluff so far, as local and international tech companies that have missed the registration deadline, despite multiple extensions, haven’t even received a slap on the wrist.
The ministry has been known to ban apps and platforms on legal and/or moral grounds in recent years. These include the gay dating app Blued, which was banned for its “immoral” LGBT content, TikTok for its general “negative content” and Telegram for allegedly facilitating the spread of radical content, although the bans for the latter two have since been lifted.