Most Malaysians are on an Internet blackout today, so don’t panic if you haven’t heard from your friend on Twitter in the past few hours. Just in case you’re wondering why, today marks the protest against the introduction of the Evidence (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2012.
What is this jargon, you ask?
Earlier this year, the Evidence (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2012 was passed in the Dewan Negara and gazette by the Law Minister. It contains the amended Section 114(A), which now threatens a person’s right to use the internet in Malaysia, and infringes upon the freedom of online expression for Malaysians.
With this amendment, online censorship now needs to be an all-time high, with you (yes, you, Internet user who is Malaysian) being forced to have to be on your toes about not only what you can or cannot say on the Internet, you’re also forced to have to be on your toes and watchful of what others might say.
What exactly are we talking about? Well, accountability.
If you’re a blogger, a Facebook page/group admin, a Twitterer, or a forumer, everything and anything offensive that is posted in, commented about, or replied to “in your space” can be held against you. Yes, even if it was published by somebody else without your consent. This burden is especially heavy upon the shoulders of bloggers, Facebook page/group admins, and forum owners.
It is also a burden to hotels, restaurants/cafés, and even cyber cafés because as long as someone is using their internet connection to post up slanderous content, they can be held responsible. At the end of the day, this would discourage these business owners from sharing their Internet access for the fear of getting into trouble with the law although they had (almost) no part to play in the said crime.
To read more, visit their Facebook page. Now, you decide if your online freedom is truly yours.