Storify Feed Feedburner Facebook Twitter Flickr Youtube

ROS Lboard

CIJ launches Internet Blackout Day

August 8, 2012

FMT LETTER, From CIJ, via e-mail

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) announced Malaysian civil society’s latest effort in campaigning against the newly introduced Section 114A to the Evidence Act 1950: an Internet Blackout Day

Scheduled for Aug 14, the action is aimed to create awareness among Internet users about the negative impact of the amendment on online expression. Malaysia’s first Internet Blackout Day takes its cue from similar efforts in the United States and New Zealand in support of internet freedom.

On Aug 14, internet users who visit participating websites will see a pop-up window which contains the message of the campaign. In addition, Netizens can change their profile pictures/avatar on Twitter and Facebook to black or use downloadable images provided by CIJ.

Centre of Independent Journalism’s executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah said that the objective of this action is for Netizens to urge the government to withdraw the amendment which, together with a few other laws, was passed hastily in Parliament in the April 2012 sitting.

Section 114A, otherwise known as Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012, was passed by Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara in April this year and was gazetted on 31st July by de facto law Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

The amendment has raised concerns from many parties such as lawyers, activists and Internet-based businesses. Under Section 114A, an Internet user is deemed the publisher of any online content unless proven otherwise. It also makes individuals and those who administer, operate or provide spaces for online community forums, blogging and hosting services, liable for content published through its services. This presumption of guilt goes against a fundamental principle of justice ‚Äď innocent until proven guilty — and disproportionately burdens the average person who may not have the resources to defend himself in court.

The amendment’s wide reach will affect all internet users, websites which provide space for online comments, and any business premises which give free Wi-Fi access to their customers.

In addition, the new amendment was passed despite the fact that existing laws — including the Computer Crimes Act 1997, Sedition Act 1948, Defamation Act 1957, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 — have been used to arrest and charge in court those who commit defamation, criminal defamation, fraud and sedition online.

The Internet Blackout Day has received positive response from the Internet community. Businesses who rely on the Internet such as the auction store lelong.com.my, online forum cari.com.my, and entertainment portal gua.com.my have signed up to show support. Other key supporters include online news sites such as Malaysiakini and Digital News Asia, bloggers such as Niki Cheong and Nat Tan. This initiative is also supported by civil society organisations such as SUARAM and Women’s Aid Organisation.

For more information about the Internet Blackout Day and to take part in the campaign please visit:

1. The official blog at stop114a.wordpress.com

2. The Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/evidenceamendmentact.

3. Stop 114A’s Twibbon page for Twitter: http://twibbon.com/join/Stop-114A

4. Stop 114A’s Twibbon page for Facebook: http://twibbon.com/cause/Stop-114A/facebook

For additional information, please contact CIJ via e-mail at [email protected] or call us at 03-4023 0772.


Comments

Readers are required to have a valid Facebook account to comment on this story. We welcome your opinions to allow a healthy debate. We want our readers to be responsible while commenting and to consider how their views could be received by others. Please be polite and do not use swear words or crude or sexual language or defamatory words. FMT also holds the right to remove comments that violate the letter or spirit of the general commenting rules.

The views expressed in the contents are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of FMT.

Comments