Malaysia gags Internet with self-censorship
From midnight Internet users must mind every thought
A giant Malaysian gag is falling over the Internet from midnight tonight, when a law hurriedly passed by Parliament in April comes into place. In effect, the law forces Internet users in Malaysia into multiple acts of self-censorship before posting any remark, comment or article on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms or forums.
The new law, amending the Evidence Act, makes every Internet user guilty of being the “publisher” of any posting under the user’s name or from the user’s Internet account, unless the user can prove otherwise.
It makes a mockery of Malaysia’s guarantee in the Multimedia Bill of Rights, which promises there will be no censorship of the Internet. Instead, it circuvents this guarantee by making users practise self-censorship before posting, by being made liable for anything that appears under their name or account, whether or not they posted it.
An online petition has been put up by the Centre for Independent Journalism, the » Netizens against Evidence (Amendment) (No2) Act 2012 which hopes to secure the signatures of one million Malaysians.
This blog will remain silent for 24 hours in protest against the new law. It is not yet known when the law will be enforced.