Right to act against Malaysia-Today?
Now, it seems like there are only 19 ISPs, from the previous 21.
Malaysia Today Mirror/Alternate URL Information
Malaysia-Today IP: 18.104.22.168
Malaysia-Today alternate URL: http://mt.harapanmalaysia.com/2008/
Start using OpenDNS to avoid the pain. read more…
The Star is reporting:
“Everyone is subject to the law, even websites and blogs,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
“We do not intend to curtail people’s freedom or right to express themselves.
“But when they publish things that are libellous, slanderous or defamatory, it is natural for SKMM to act,” he said in Parliament lobby on Thursday.
No Syed Albar, you are wrong (re: natural for SKMM to act). When something is libellous, slanderous, or defamatory, you tell them to remove the content, failing which, you take them to court, file a civil suit against them, and see what happens at the hand of the law. You do not censor the Internet. This is exactly what is happening to Raja Petra – he’s being charged for criminal defamation (and probably more?).
Syed Albar goes on to add, as reported in Malaysiakini:
He defended blocking access to Malaysia Today that has attacked top leaders, saying it had ignored warnings against publishing “slanderous” articles.
That’s really the crux of the problem. Malaysia for the longest time, under the iron fisted rule of Mahathir, never questioned leaders in the open. Those that did, were put behind bars, under the ISA (thanks to things like the Printing Presses Act, etc.) Of course, exposure to the rest of the world, and the Internet, has helped shape the people to become much braver.
Now, everyone’s playing the blame game (or pretending to be dumb):
- Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister was not aware – he thinks they may have brief the Minister, but definitely not him. Where’s the Minister? In Bali. On vacation?
- Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Information Minister says he’s aware but its not under his jurisdiction
Picking on Section 263, while ignoring Section 3 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998:
(3) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting the censorship of the Internet.
Also via Malaysiakini:
“The commission and the government should acknowledge that the problem at hand is the failure of the mainstream media to fulfil its duties in reporting information adequately, truthfully and fairly and not go on a witch hunt of content providers in cyberspace, which holds the only meaningful free space for critical and challenging expression in Malaysia.”
A wise statement executed by V Gayathry from the Centre for Independent Journalism.
The Star goes on to report that the MCMC has done this previously before, for websites involved in fraudulent investment schemes, last year. From that list, swisscashguide.com and swisscash.biz still work – so did they remove the DNS block, or do they set a time for it to expire? When such firms exist, you don’t block their websites – you take them to court for violating the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (commonly referred to as BAFIA), and shut them down, I believe.
Jaring shines thru
Its worth noting that while TMNet/Streamyx has complied (they have the biggest market penetration for DSL users), Jaring (the oldest ISP in Malaysia) hasn’t (hopefully its not a yet, I just hope they ignore the directive – a feisty Dr. MAL still being there?). ns.jaring.my and dns1.jaring.my still resolve the regular malaysia-today.net website.
The blogosphere aloud
Jeff Ooi has called for the hanging of the idiots @ MCMC. Lim Kit Siang has chimed in. LiewCF is telling people how to bypass the blocks. Daniel from Global Voices Online asks What exactly is sedition?.
If you have any more interesting links, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post. If someone has a copy of the circular sent to the ISPs, it will make for a public shaming.