Facebook, Google, WhatsApp illegal in Indonesia unless they register for licenses


The mobile phone apps for, from left, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are shown on a device in New York. The digital giants are given time until July 20 to complete the registration for licensing. Otherwise, the ministry will label them illegal and unlawful in the country. — AP

JAKARTA: The Indonesian authorities are set to block social media applications and online sites including Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp in several days if they fail to register with the country’s Ministry of Communications and Informatics, reported Xinhua.

The digital giants are given time until July 20 to complete the registration for licensing. Otherwise, the ministry will label them illegal and unlawful in the country.

“We have warned all local and foreign tech companies including online services, sites and application providers many times that they have to register if they do not want to risk being blocked. We have given them time since six months ago,” the ministry's Director General for Information Applications Semuel Abrijani told reporters on Tuesday.

The registration is part of the country’s new regulation starting from January 2022, saying all tech platforms must secure licences to be able to operate. The regulation will allow the authorities to order the platforms to take down any contents considered unlawful, inappropriate and “disturb public order” within four hours if deemed urgent and 24 hours if not.

The Indonesian government is currently trying to reduce the spread of misinformation and hoaxes, particularly ahead of the country's general election in 2024. – Bernama

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