Netflix in Indonesia May be Banned or Censored Soon

Just a few days after launching in the country, Indonesia is possibly making moves to ban Netflix.

Lembaga Sensor Film (LSF), or Indonesian Censorship Agency, has expressed its concern over the streaming giant’s catalog of films.

According to the agency’s chairman, Ahmad Yani Basuki, it has banned a number of films from showing in cinemas in the past and these sorts of films are now available on Netflix. The chairman did not name any films specifically but said they were inappropriate for Indonesians.

Films are either banned or heavily censorship with scenes chopped out before they are screened in Indonesia, especially if they feature heavy violence, blasphemy, gambling, or sexual themes.

Before films can be screened in Indonesia, its studio or makers must obtain a censorship letter from the LSF under Law No. 33/2009. Netflix has not applied for such a letter, said Ahmad.

“Without the requirement, we will recommend the Communication and Informatics Ministry to block the service,” he said. Netflix will also be required to obtain a license from the Communications and Informatics Ministry.

Currently Ahmad and LSF’s comments haven’t been enforced. A spokesperson for the ministry told Tech in Asia that it has not received any formal notification from LSF as of this writing.

Indonesia has some form when it comes to blocking sites. Reddit is banned and video platform Vimeo has been blocked in the country in the past. The government has opened a dialog with Vimeo in the hopes of allowing access to the site but Vimeo has refused to bow to censorship demands or any compromise over its content.

Netflix on the other hand has never denied any questions around whether or not it will censor content to appease local authorities.

Last week the company announced a massive worldwide expansion of its services to 130 countries with the exception of China and a select number of conflict-stricken regions.