Google Has Not Yet Joined Indonesia’s New Licensing Rules – Ministry

JAKARTA, July 20 (Reuters) – Google was one of the last tech platforms to fail to comply with Indonesia’s new licensing rules on Wednesday, ministry data showed, as a deadline loomed that could see their services temporarily blocked in the country.

Registration is required under rules released at the end of 2020 that give authorities sweeping powers to compel platforms to release certain users’ data and remove content deemed illegal or “disturbing public order” within four hours. in case of emergency, and 24 hours if not.

The Communications Department said businesses that do not register by the deadline just before midnight Wednesday will be reprimanded, fined and then blocked – a decision that will be reversed once they register.

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Although the ministry did not say when exactly the lockdown would come into effect, it is unlikely to be immediate. read more

On Wednesday afternoon, Twitter was among the latest companies to be added to a Department of Communications list of foreign providers that have signed up to the new rules, while those of Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) Google had still not not registered.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Twitter said in a statement Wednesday that it had “taken appropriate steps to comply” with the rules.

Meta Platforms Inc. (META.O) Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp signed up on Tuesday, while other services like Spotify (SPOT.N), Netflix (NFLX.O), and ByteDance’s TikTok also signed up, according to ministry records.

With a young and tech-savvy Indonesian population of 10 million, it is one of the top 10 markets in terms of user numbers for a host of social media companies.

The government says the new rules have been pushed to ensure internet service providers allow consumer data and online content is used in a “positive and productive” way.

It can also compel companies to disclose communications and personal data of specific users if requested by law enforcement or government agencies.

Two sources from major internet platforms said they remained concerned about the implications of data and content regulations and the risk of government overreach.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists in Indonesia said some provisions of the new rules were “very elastic” and subject to abuse.

“The consequence could be that news or content that reveals rights violations…or investigative reports could be considered troubling…by some parties, or even by government or law enforcement,” said the organization on Twitter.

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Additional reporting by Fanny Potkin in Singapore; Edited by Kanupriya Kapoor

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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