Update 2: theStar reports – The Cabinet is carefully studying Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950 in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s directive, after it became a much discussed matter in cyberspace. Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Wednesday the Government held a firm stand on the matter but so far, there were no plans to make new amendments to the Act.
If I were you, I would not lose my breath over this “Cabinet carefully studying…after Najib’s directive”. Now they have the edge (after all, the Act have been passed by the Parliament), you think they going to let go just like that?
Update 1: I do not know who this Fatimah Zuhri is (a BN cyber trooper?) but running through her “arguments” in support for Section 114A, it is clear she is missing a point in her support for Section 114A (no doubt the amendments have its merits as highlighted by her). The point that she missed is on the burden of proof shifting to the accused. She says that yes, the accused is now guilty until proven innocent but then goes on to say that if one is innocent, then it is easy to prove it so.
This argument is seriously flawed as 1. under our legal system, one always presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, so why the sudden shift then? Will the resources be made available by the authorities for the accused to prove the innocence? and 2. she is talking about proving your innocence using IP & MAC address – is she a computer expert on cyber crime or she is just a casual PC user who knows nothing more than using some easy Microsoft programs and surf the net.
Look at the comments by one Ah Beng under her post and you will realised that proving your innocence using IPs & MAC Addresses may be futile if the real perpetrators are experts in covering their tracks (there are plenty of tools on the net just for that) and since you are presumed guilty until proven innocent, you are screwed. There seems to be a clear loophole on the horizon (since it does not stop anyone who is not happy with what has been written online from hiring certain experts to hack and create trouble for the writers under Section 114A) and that should not be the case.
Back to the original post
Read these first:-
They have been trying to censor the internet for ages now but so far their attempts have whacked them back on their face. This seems to be the latest of their attempt to censor what is said & discussed on the net but this time around, it is coming through the “back door” via the Evidence Act 1950
How does Section 114A affect you?
Titled “Presumption of Fact in Publication”, Section 114A holds the following people accountable for publishing content online:
(1) those who own, administrate, or edit websites open to public contributors, such as online forums or blogs;
(2) those who provide webhosting services or Internet access; and
(3) those own the computer or mobile device used to publish content online.
In other words, if allegedly defamatory content is traced back to your username, electronic device, and/or WiFi network, Section 114A presumes you are guilty of publishing illicit content on the Internet.
But what if you were the victim of identity theft and a hacker wrongfully used your Twitter or Facebook account to post defamatory content?
Under Section 114A, you are still considered guilty until proven innocent.
What is wrong with Section 114A?
Section 114A is problematic for a number of reasons:
i) It disproportionately burdens average Internet users who are wrongfully accused of publishing seditious or defamatory content.
ii) It makes Internet intermediaries–parties that provide online community forums, blogging and hosting services–liable for content that is published through their services.
iii) It allows hackers and cyber criminals to be free by making the person whose account/computer is hacked liable for any content/data which might have changed.
iv) It is a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation.
Click the image below for more details:-
(All images sources: http://stop114a.wordpress.com/)
- The Presumption of Publication (dinmerican.wordpress.com)
- Wake-Up Middle Malaysia: You’re guilty until proven innocent (dinmerican.wordpress.com)