Indonesia is blocking residents from accessing various online platforms after those services failed to comply with a July 29th regulatory deadline, reports (via ). Among the affected platforms are PayPal, Steam and Yahoo (owned by Engadget’s parent company Apollo Management).
Under the country’s 2020 MR5 law, companies labeled as “Private Electronic System Providers” had until this week to register with a government database or face an outright ban. Similar to India’s , MR5 gives Indonesia the power to force online platforms to take down content the government deems unlawful or a threat to public order. In instances involving “urgent” requests, services have four hours to take action.
According to Reuters, a handful of tech companies, including Google, Meta and Amazon, rushed in recent days to meet Friday’s deadline. Indonesia may restore access to some of the online services that are currently blocked in the country, provided they register with the government.
PayPal and Valve did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the general director of Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information, told a local news network that the government could temporarily lift restrictions on PayPal to allow users to withdraw their money.
Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch have criticized Indonesia’s new content moderation rules. “[MR5] is a tool for censorship that imposes unrealistic burdens on the many digital services and platforms that are used in Indonesia,” said Linda Lakhdhir, Asia legal advisor at Human Rights Watch. “It poses serious risks to the privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information of Indonesian internet users.”
Many Indonesians have also come out against the law, using hashtags like “” to voice their opposition to the government’s actions. On Saturday, Pangerapan dismissed those criticisms, saying the measure would help protect the country’s internet users.
PayPal will now allow peer-to-peer payments to and from Ukraine. The company announced today that it was significantly expanding its services in Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion. Prior to this, Ukrainian PayPal customers could only use the payment platform to send money outside of the country. Earlier this month, the company announced it was exiting Russia, citing the country’s “violent aggression” against Ukraine.
PayPal users in Ukraine will now be able to send money to and receive money from outside the country, as well as domestically. It’s a move that likely will make life easier for Ukrainians receiving financial support from family and loved ones who live abroad. Ukrainians will also be able to send funds directly to their bank account by linking their Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card.
Perhaps most significantly, PayPal is waiving its own fees (until June 30th) for both sending and receiving funds in Ukraine. The payment platform traditionally charges a fee for international transactions that starts at 5%, and increases depending on your payment method and the region where your recipient resides.
A new payment option is likely to have a significant impact in Ukraine, where only a few options exist to send or receive money abroad. Sending money to individuals in Ukraine (or virtually anywhere abroad) can be costly. Every payment platform that serves a global customer base in Ukraine (including WesterUnion, MoneyGram, Remitly) charges an international transaction fee or commission, and exchange rates can often be unfavorable. Hopefully, this temporary grace period from PayPal will make a significant impact for those seeking to send money to loved ones in Ukraine.
Three PayPal users who've allegedly had their accounts frozen and funds taken by the company without explanation have filed a federal lawsuit against the online payment service. The plaintiffs — two users from California and one from Chicago — are accusing the company of unlawfully seizing their personal property and violating racketeering laws. They're now proposing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all other users who've had their accounts frozen before and are seeking restitution, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.
Lena Evans, one of the plaintiffs who'd been a PayPal user for 22 years, said the website seized $ 26,984 from her account six months after it got frozen without ever telling her why. Evans had been using PayPal to buy and sell clothing on eBay, to exchange money for a poker league she owns and for a non-profit that helps women with various needs.
Fellow plaintiff Roni Shemtov said PayPal seized over $ 42,000 of her money and never got an acceptable reason for why her account was terminated. She received several different explanations when she contacted the company: One customer rep said it was because she used the same IP and computer as other Paypal users, while another said it was because she sold yoga clothing at 20 to 30 percent lower than retail. Yet another representative allegedly said it was because she used multiple accounts, which she denies.
Shbadan Akylbekov, the third plaintiff, said PayPal seized over $ 172,000 of his money without giving him any explanation why the account got limited in the first place. Akylbekov used the account of a company his wife owns to sell Hyaluron pens, which are needle-less pens that inject hyaluronic acid into the skin. After the money disappeared from the account following a six-month freeze, PayPal allegedly sent his wife a letter that says she "violated PayPal's User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) by accepting payments for the sale of injectable fillers not approved by the FDA." It also said that the money was taken from her account "for its liquidated damages arising from those AUP violations pursuant to the User Agreement."
PayPal has long angered many a user for limiting accounts and freezing their funds for six months or more. One high-profile case was American poker player Chris Moneymaker's who had $ 12,000 taken from his account after six months of being limited. Moneymaker was already in the process of asking people to join him in a class action lawsuit before his funds were "mysteriously returned."
Part of the complaint reads:
"Plaintiffs bring this class action against Defendant PAYPAL, INC. ("PayPal") to recover damages and other relief available at law and in equity on behalf of themselves, as well as on behalf of the members of the class defined herein… This action stems from Defendant’s widespread business practice of unilaterally seizing funds from its clients’ financial accounts, without cause and without any fair or due process.
PayPal places a "hold" on Plaintiffs' own funds in their own PayPal accounts. PayPal has failed to inform Plaintiffs and members of the class of the reason(s) for the actions PayPal has taken, even telling Plaintiffs and members of the class that they will "have to get a subpoena" to learn the simple information as to why PayPal was holding, and denying Plaintiffs, access to their own money."
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Payments platform PayPal has announced an agreement with MasterCard to enable in-store payments. In addition, Venmo users will gain the ability to withdraw funds instantly, as soon as they’re available.
The post PayPal inks a deal with MasterCard to enable in-store payments appeared first on Digital Trends.
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