Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Indonesia Bans Steam, Paypal, Epic Games, Battlenet

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The Ministry of Information, Indonesia has issued a ban on some leading foreign digital services like Steam, Epic Games, Battlenet, and PayPal over reasons unconfirmed but believed to be non-compliance with new IT rules that asked services to officially register as an Electronic Systems Provider (PSE) with the ministry.

Steam Banned in Indonesia

The news first came to light when Team Secret (esports org) made a post on Facebook and Twitter with a picture showing the ban notice when visiting the said sites.

Soon the news about the bans spread like fire and Indonesian people expressed their disbelief and confusion over the sudden ban. The sudden ban has left many people and businesses associated with the services scratching their heads.

While the main reason for the ban is still unknown as the story is still unfolding, the primary cause of the ban is believed to be the new IT rules that the Ministry of Information implemented back in 2020.

The new regulation required local and international internet services to officially register as an Electronic Systems Provider (PSE), for the purposes of cyber security and user protection, on November 24th, 2020. Failure to comply would result in an operational ban in the country.

However, this information is not officially confirmed yet and the whole situation is still a developing story, so stay tuned.

India Ban’s BGMI

Battlegrounds Mobile India, the largest competitive mobile game in India, has been officially delisted from widely used Google Play Store and Apple App Store. As per new reports, the Indian government has banned BGMI by invoking Section 69A of the IT Act.

According to ReutersIndian Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) issued orders under Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 to take down BGMI.

TalkEsport, just last evening had reported that the influence of China over PUBG Mobile & BGMI combined could be the reason of the recent ban which saw millions of gamers dissappointed.

WHAT IS SECTION 69 (A) IT ACT IN INDIA?

  • it confers on the Central and State governments the power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource”.
  • the Grounds on which these powers may be exercised are:
    • In the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state.
    • Friendly relations with foreign states.
    • Public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense relating to these.
    • For investigating any offense.

The law reads:

69A. Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource

(1) Where the Central Government or any of its officers specially authorized by it on this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense relating to above, it may be subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any Agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.

(2) The procedure and safeguards subject to which such blocking for access by the public may be carried out; shall be such as may be prescribed.

(3) The intermediary who fails to comply with the direction issued under sub-section (1) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and also be liable to fine.

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