After pushing through new technology reforms, the Indonesia government has urged tech companies to register under new licensing rules. According to the government authorities, failing to be registered may risk blocking.
As per the government data shared, global tech firms including Google and Meta are yet to comply with the July 20 deadline. The requirement to register is part of a set of rules, first released in November 2020, that will allow authorities to order platforms to take down content deemed unlawful, or that ‘disturbs public order' within four hours if considered urgent, and 24 hours if not.
The Indonesian communications minister Johnny G Plate is reported to have urged companies to register before sanctions were applied. “Platforms could be blocked if they did not comply,” the ministry said.
So far about 5,900 domestic companies and 108 foreign companies have registered, including short-video app TikTok and music streaming firm Spotify, according to communications ministry data.
Other platforms such as Alphabet Inc's Google, Twitter and Meta Platforms Inc, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, are yet to register new as per new law.
The new licensing system applies to all domestic and foreign Electronic Service Operators. The government can also compel companies to reveal communications and personal data of specific users if requested by law enforcement or government agencies. The government says the new rules have been formulated to ensure internet service providers protect consumer data, and that online content is used in a ‘positive and productive' way.
Despite the threat, some analysts doubt whether Indonesian authorities would immediately block platforms operated by non-compliant companies, especially given how widely used some of the platforms are in Indonesia, including by state officials.
With a youthful, digitally savvy population of 270 million, Indonesia is among the top-10 global markets for top US BigTech companies. Meanwhile, Plate said the registration requirement was administrative and not about content.
There were an estimated 191 million social media users in Indonesia as of February 2022, according to government data. Only China and India have more social media users in the Asia Pacific region.