Indonesia’s Information and Communications Minister Rudiantara says the government will publish details of the ministerial regulations governing over-the-top (OTT) services this year, as it strives to create a level playing field for domestic and international online messaging service providers in the country, such as WhatsApp, Skype, WeChat, Line and Hangout. The JakartaGlobe notes that currently, all OTT services are offered for free, including messaging, voice and video call services. In a statement, however, Rudiantara confirmed the government’s plan to usher in new rules by the end of this year, stating: ‘OTT service providers must comply with our regulation. They have to provide customer service, they will have their rights and obligations, and be taxed’. While no concrete details of Rudiantara’s taxation plans have been published, it is understood the new rules will likely include restrictions on what content can be delivered over OTT services, forcing ISPs to filter out any content deemed ‘negative’ by the ministry – including topics involving suspected terrorism, pornography or radical propaganda.
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