Zahid Hamidi Wants To Set Up Huge Firewall To Filter YouTube Videos

This is because the censorship board has a "social and religious responsibility".

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Censoring Websites Infringes On An Individual's Right To Freedom Of Information, Say Civil Rights Activists

The Home Minister's plan to block unapproved content on websites and YouTube is “regressive” and could pave the way for potential abuse of power, civil rights activists said.

Lawyer Eric Paulsen described the plan as a return to “the government knows best” approach where Malaysians are not given the opportunity to judge for themselves. He also cautioned that this form of censoring could eventually spread beyond its screening purpose. “I think it's a slippery slope, once you start censoring some films on the Internet... it'll snowball and affect other content. I don't think we should allow this.

“It would certainly infringe on an individual's right to freedom of information, freedom of expression and freedom of speech,” the co-founder of Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said.

Suaram Criticised The Move, Saying The Firewall Could Be Used By The Government To "Filter Information To Cover Up Their Wrongdoings"

Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng also called the firewall method “regressive” and an obstacle to Malaysians making informed choices on the economic and political situation through access to freely circulating information, besides also hampering Malaysia's bid to become a developed nation. “The idea of setting up a firewall is for us a regressive measure to restrict access to information and also restrict freedom of expression,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted earlier this week.

Yap said the firewalls are not effective, further voicing his worry that it could be “easily abused” by authorities to protect themselves from public criticism. “There are technological advances every day and many countries have tried firewalls and it doesn't really work but the main concern is the government is using this as an excuse to filter information to cover up their wrongdoings and to filter information based on their political interests rather than interests of the country,” he added.

The Malaysian Home Ministry Is Mulling The Decision To Censor The Internet For The Good Of Malaysians

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The Malaysian Home Ministry is looking to set up a large-scale firewall that would essentially impact all Malaysian Internet users by filtering content that is deemed culturally unacceptable for Malaysians.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi Said That "Content Creators Have To Make Sure Their Content Do Not Lead Members Of Society Out Of Social And Religious Norms"

Specifically, the Home Ministry is looking to filter video content that the Malaysian Censorship Board deems to contain negative elements. Home Minister Datuk Ahmad Zaid Hamidi stated:

“We want to create awareness among the public, specifically film goers, that the censorship board has a social and religious responsibility to ensure movies adhere to set guidelines. Content creators have to make sure their content do not lead members of society out of social and religious norms.”

The Censorship Is Especially Targeted On Websites Such As YouTube By Building A Firewall Around It

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The Home Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) are working on building a firewall against websites, including YouTube, to ensure that Malaysians don’t get to watch certain content.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it was vital for content on the Internet, including movies, to suit local culture and sensitivity. “We are working with MCMC on this matter and I urge the commission to implement the system soon,” he said after officiating the 60th anniversary of the censorship board here yesterday.

“We are working with MCMC on this matter and I urge the commission to implement the system soon,” said Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after attending the 60th anniversary of the censorship board in Putrajaya on Sunday. “The public needs to understand that the censorship board has a social responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Added On That There Is "No Perfect Solution" To Protect The Public And Also Ensuring Internet Freedom

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Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday said there was no “perfect solution” to finding the right balance between ensuring total Internet freedom and protecting the public from possible harm by irresponsible users.

This Latest Move Contradicts MSC Malaysia's Bill Of Guarantee Number 7, Where It Promises That There Will Be No Censorship Of The Internet

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This is in spite of Bill of Guarantee No.7 of the MSC Malaysia Bill of Guarantees, which states that the government pledges “to ensure no censorship of the Internet“.

According To The World Press Freedom Index, Malaysia Ranks At A Measly 147th Place By Reporters Without Borders

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In 2014, Malaysia was ranked 147th in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders. It was also given a "Partly Free" status on the Freedom in the World report by Freedom House in 2008. On the Freedom in the World index, graded on a scale of one to seven, with one being the most free and seven being the least, Malaysia obtained four points for both political rights and civil liberties.

Prime Ministers Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak, on many occasions, have pledged that Internet access in Malaysia will not be censored and that it is up to parents to install their own censorship software and provide education to their children (provide self-censorship). The ISPs also actively deny that there are Internet filters in place when asked. However, the Communications Minister has occasionally announced that they are working on a nationwide filter, but each time such an announcement is made the Prime Minister makes a rebuttal to emphasize that there will be no Internet censorship. The state ministries of Terengganu and Kelantan have also announced that they have statewide filters in place in their respective states.

In 2012, Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Called For The Government To Censor The Internet. He Previously Promised That Malaysia Would Never Censor The Internet To Attract Investors.

Putrajaya should rethink absolute freedom on the Internet, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said, reversing his previous guarantee that Malaysia would never censor online content. The former prime minister, an avid blogger, told The New Sunday Times in an interview published today that countries should now enforce some form of regulatory control to block “filth” and punish those who corrupt the minds of Internet users.

This is why in June 2012, he first said he regretted making that no-Internet-censorship promise, and called for greater regulation. “When I said there should be no censorship of the Internet, I really did not realise the power of the Internet, the power to undermine moral values, the power to create problems and agitate people,” he was quoted as saying by The New Sunday Times. He reiterated that call in his blog on Aug 1 this year, coincidentally after Facebook prevented linking to an earlier blog post of his in which he wrote about the Jews. “Not knowing the power of the Internet, I promised that we (speaking as the Prime Minister of Malaysia) would not censor it. But today I have changed my mind.”

“Now it is so porous that we cannot prevent all this filth from coming into our country,” he was reported saying in the interview at Malaysia’s 26th Asia-Pacific Roundtable held at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies last week. Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years until 2003, had promised that Malaysia would never censor the Internet in any way as part of a pledge draw investors to develop the Multimedia Super Corridor

This Isn't The First Time The Malaysian Internet Has Been Regulated. Earlier In January, The 'Kangkung' Fiasco Became A Hot Topic In Malaysia. The Article Even Made It On The BBC But It Was Not Accessible By Malaysians

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For this particular article by BBC Trending though as many users out there have reported that they are not able to access it. Sure enough, I’m not able to access the article myself at the time this post is published even after changing the DNS setup from TM’s to Google DNS. Additionally, no such restriction was imposed on other BBC Trending’s articles which made the situation even more suspicious. Hmm.

Besides Websites, Certain Movies Have Been Banned To Reach Malaysian Shores. Among Them Are "Noah, Son Of God" And Academy Award Winning Movie "The Wolf of Wall Street"

The Film Censorship Board has banned an increasing number of movies, including the Academy Award-winning The Wolf of Wall Street, 2014's Noah and Son of God and Sin City 2: A Dame to Die For.

What Do You Think? Should Malaysian Internet Be Censored? Comment Below Or Let Us Know On Facebook Or Twitter

The Censorship Of The Internet Has Led To A Task Force To Check For "Harmful" Social Media Postings. Read Other Weird Task Forces That Has Been Created HERE:

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