There is a scanned copy of what looks like a MCMC document circulating on the Internet. The contents of the document looks like a request letter to all Malaysian ISP to block a list of file sharing website.
The websites on the list are:-
Here is the said copy of the document:-
W//W have no idea of the authenticity of this document whether it is legitimate or if it’s something made up by someone. It would be great if MCMC could clarify this for us whether at any time did the commission issued any memo to local ISPs instucting them to block certain websites and validate whether this document which we received is indeed genuine (or false).
The Malaysian government had promised to it’s citizens that Malaysia have no intention to censor the Internet. Recently our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, speaking at the 1st Malaysian-ASEAN Regional Bloggers Conference repeated that promise.
Here is a quote taken form The Malaysian Insider post dated on 24th April 2011 :-
“Malaysians have to thank Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for this.”
“When he was the Prime Minister, and Malaysia was developing our Multimedia Super Corridor, Tun made the promise to the world that Malaysia would never censor the Internet.”
“My government is fully committed to that wisdom — we intend to keep his word,” he said in his opening address during the conference at the Intercontinental Hotel here.
The MCMC document is dated on 30th May 2011, about a month after the Prime Minister made that speech.
For your information section 263(2) and 263(1) as mentioned in the memo above refers to the Communications & Multimedia Act 1998 which states -
Section 263. General duty of licensees.
(1) A licensee shall use his best endeavour to prevent the network facilities that he owns or provides or the network service, applications service or content applications service that he provides from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence under any law of Malaysia.
(2) A licensee shall, upon written request by the Commission or any other authority,assist the Commission or other authority as far as reasonably necessary in preventing the commission or attempted commission of an offence under any written law of Malaysia or otherwise in enforcing the laws of Malaysia, including, but not limited to, the protection of the public revenue and preservation of national security.
Translation – Govt has the right to tell ISPs to block which website they deemed as dangerous be it for national security or the protection of public revenue (whatever that is).
What we at W//W (Wirawan Web) want to know did MCMC told ISPs to block and censor these websites mentioned above? And if indeed MCMC is censoring these sites as to why and reasoning behind it and whether this directly clashes with the government’s promise to not censor the Internet. We believe the public has a right to know as the censorship issue has been clarified and promised many times by the Prime Minister personally. If there is some sort of censorship move in place, we would like for the ISP or MCMC to publish the list of websites so that we know what we are actually getting when subscribing to an ISP service.
These websites requested by MCMC to be blocked do not entirely host illegal copyright violating files. I know for a fact that some local independent bands uses Megaupload to share mp3s files of their latest singles and demo to their fans. They do this to cut cost on bandwidth.
What are your thoughts on this?
-updated- Testing done via P1 Wimax broadband confirmed that indeed these websites are blocked, we’re not sure for Unifi, Streamyx or other broadband users though. Do update us here at W//W.
[Update] Thanks to @prasys for pointing out this posting on Lowyat.net. Note that the posting date is 30th May 2011, the day the letter went out. It seems that Streamyx did block Megaupload, Fileserve and etc, for a short while and they unblock them after. There is an ongoing discussion of that thread. Here is the part 2 of the letter.