Indonesia Blocked Yahoo PayPal Steam Website and What Can Citizens Do
I was very busy lately and did not the news until the Twitter tag #BlokirKominfo was trending. Not just surprised, but I was shocked to find Steam, a platform where I bought over $1000 of games was blocked. After reading more news, I found out that PayPal was also blocked. This received massive online protest because many Indonesians are freelancers and received their salaries in PayPal. Therefore blocking PayPal, is the same as cutting off their income where if that is their only source of income, then they are threatened to be starved on the street. If that was not shocking enough, Yahoo was also blocked.
The Authority that governs Internet access is The Ministry of Information and Communication Indonesia. The reason is because the law that requires all online service providers to register as electronic system operator. The reason is to make sure Indonesian user data are protected and the online service does not violate Indonesian's Law. However, here is the catch that maybe true or false: online service providers are required to share Indonesian user data to the government. I learned that there are 2 main phases:
- Register at https://pse.kominfo.go.id/home, failing to register results in few warnings and if ignored then immediately blocked.
- Successful registration applicants are subjected to review and if the online service provider found violating Indonesian's Law, then immediately blocked.
My Campaign Against Censorship
It all started when pornographic contents went viral among underage childrens. The government passed a law that any type of pornography is illegal. Then finally the authority started banning pornography websites and other contents. It was fine until this point, but I got annoyed when they started banning animations, anime, comics, manga, and other arts. Still this was tolerable and I only kept to myself my knowledge of bypassing this censorships.
After that, they went to far. They started to ban Reddit just because there are pornography sections there, eventhough most of the contents are knowledgeable discussions. Although a decade have passed, they still blocked the whole website and not bother releasing partially of safe contents. Even when I needed additional information about DeFi portfolio trackers, I cannot obtain them because I cannot access its Reddit discussion. This is the start of campaign against censorship.
It gotten worse by targeting trading platforms such as Bybit and Bityard and even crypto platforms such as Binance. A very useful application that we can earn income by performing simple tasks such as participating in surveys and testing apps Cointiply may not be blocked but was removed from Indonesian mobile store. Today, citizens are finally protesting because these websites are blocked:
What Can Regular Citizens Do?
It was for this moment that I wrote a tutorial about Common Ways To Bypass Internet Censorship. The first method to try is by DNS because that is the simplest one with least performance issue. If that does not work than the second method is either through Proxy or VPN. The third method is through TOR if privacy is wanted. Providers should really consider migrating to decentralization such as blockchain technology and IPFS. Finally, the root problem is the tyranny that we should stand up to the authority.