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Malaysia Denies Web Censor Move August 7, 2009

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends.
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Malaysia now denies it has plans to censor Internet. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said in a statement that it may encourage parents to use Internet filters to block pornography and online scams, but denied it was reneging on its promise not to censor the Web.

The statement was aimed at allaying fears among opposition groups that the government was mulling an Internet filter to block “undesirable websites”, along the lines of China’s abandoned “Green Dam” software. The move had critics crying foul as it breaches the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees.

The government has no desire to implement Internet filtering. Firstly, because it is not effective. Secondly, it may cause dissatisfaction among the people because in this ICT and borderless age, information moves around freely.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

Fears of censorship were raised by an article this week in Malaysian Insider, an independent news Web site. Kuala Lumpur said news about the study had been “taken out of context and sensationalized.”

The study was only meant to better understand online preferences of Malaysians, which is “no different from actions taken by responsible regulatory agencies and governments … around the world,” the statement said.

The issue of unfettered Internet access is important economically for Malaysia, which has attracted investment from technology companies such as Microsoft Corp with promises not to censor.

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