Neither Google nor Alphabet’s Twitter Inc had signed up for Indonesia’s new licensing rules as of Wednesday, the ministry’s data showed, as a deadline loomed that could temporarily block their services in the country.
Registration is required under rules released in late 2020 that give authorities broad powers to force platforms to release certain users’ data and remove content deemed illegal or “disrupting public order” within four hours. if it is urgent, and 24 hours if not.
The Ministry of Communications has said companies that fail to register before the deadline just before midnight on Wednesday will be reprimanded, fined and then blocked – a decision that will be reversed once they register. While the ministry has not said exactly when the bloc would go into effect, it is unlikely it will be immediately.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Google and Twitter are not on a Ministry of Communications list of foreign providers that have joined the new rules.
Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp units registered on Tuesday, while other services such as ByteDance’s Spotify, Netflix and TikTok also signed up, according to the ministry’s data.
The government says the new rules are designed to ensure internet service providers protect consumer data and that online content is used in a “positive and productive” way.
It may also compel companies to disclose communications and personal information of specific users at the request of law enforcement or government agencies.
Two sources at major internet platforms said they remain concerned about the data and content implications of the regulation and the risk of government overreach.
The Alliance of Independent Journalists in Indonesia said some provisions in the new rules are “highly elastic” and prone to abuse.
“As a result, news or content revealing rights violations… or investigative reports could be viewed as troubling… by certain parties, or even the government or law enforcement,” the organization said on Twitter.