Indonesia asks tech platforms to register under new licensing rules

Tech organisations have been urged by Indonesia to have the options of either making registrations under new licensing rules or running the risk of getting their platforms blocked.

The requirement of registration forms part of a set of rules which were first out in November, allowing the authorities to demand from platforms to remove content which is considered unlawful or that which disrupts public order within a time frame of four hours if it is considered something urgent and 24 hours if it is not considered urgent.

According to sources, there were registrations from over 5900 domestic companies and 108 companies abroad, which include apps such as Spotify and Tiktok. Many other platforms have not registered. They include Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, Google. The newly introduced licensing regulations are applicable to all foreign and domestic electronic service operators. According to the government sources, the formulation of the new rules is to make sure that consumer data is safeguarded by internet service providers, utilizing digital content in a productive and positive method.

However, it's not certain whether the platforms, which are not complying with the new rules, would be blocked by the Indonesian authorities. With a young, digitally abled population of around 270 million, Indonesia ranks the top 10 market present worldwide, in terms of the number of users, for many social media companies including Tiktok, Facebook and Twitter.

According to some, the new regulations are causing a threat to freedom of expression and privacy. Nenden Arum, belonging to the digital rights group, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), said: “According to our analysis, this will be the most oppressive regulation of its type in the region."

According to minister Plate, the requirement for registration was concerned with administrative policies and not surrounding content. According to Statista, as of February, 2022, there were nearly 191 million social media users in Indonesia. Only India and China are having more social media users in the Asia Pacific region.


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