Feeds

Malaysian websites go dark to protest Evidence Act

Retweet at your own risk

The essential guide to IT transformation

Many Malaysian websites took on a sombre hue yesterday, as operators blacked them out to protest proposed amendments to the nation’s Evidence Act that would remove the presumption of innocence for some online activities.

The controversial part of the legislation is a new Section 114a (PDF) which aims to “provide for the presumption of fact in publication in order to facilitate the identification and proving of the identity of an anonymous person involved in publication through the internet” and states, in clause 1:

“A person whose name, photograph or pseudonym appears on any publication depicting himself as the owner, host, administrator, editor or sub-editor, or who in any manner facilitates to publish or re-publish the publication is presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication unless the contrary is proved.”

The clause has been interpreted as meaning that anyone who causes anything to be published online is legally responsible for it. Re-tweeting a comment other laws consider seditious or otherwise criminal therefore makes the person who re-tweeted it liable for the act of publication.

Protestors argue that’s unfair for individuals and that a test of facilitation is a very onerous burden for publishers or website operators to carry, as it means they will be held liable for comments that run foul of the law.

Another skein of the argument worries that owners of hacked accounts will be liable for activities carried on in their name, while the potential for faked sites that seem to represent an individual are another obvious loophole.

Many news websites and blogs http://stop114a.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/join-us-and-support-internet-blackout-day/ went dark to protest the amendment, while social media users grayed out their avatars.

Public ire at the proposed seems to have worked: Malaysian Prime Minister Najid Razak tweeted that he will ask Cabinet to review the amendment. Just when that review will take place, and what its outcome will be, is not known. ®

Bootnote

The amendments to the Act define a computer as “an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other data processing device, or a group of such interconnected or related devices, performing logical, arithmetic, storage and display functions …”

Your correspondent, as an electrochemical entity, assumes he is exempt from being considered computers on grounds of a frequent lack of logical function. As for the rest of you …

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.