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Malaysian regulator takes stern action against Internet abuse

AvantiKumar | Sept. 15, 2010
MCMC reminds operators of websites, blogs and news portals of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
KUALA LUMPUR, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010-Malaysian regulator MCMC [Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission] has warned operators of Internet news and opinion channels to steer clear of offensive, indecent or sensitive matters such as religion and race.

This announcement follows the statement on Monday (September 13, 2010) by Malaysian Information Communication and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who said that a special team, which includes police members, has been formed to investigate complaints about possible threats to national security and unity.

MCMC's statement said that action has been taken against operators and publishers who overstepped guidelines of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

"Offenders found guilty would be charged under Section 211 or 233 of the Act, which makes it an offence to post a comment that is offensive in character and with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person," said the MCMC representative. "Action taken will include issuing notice or warning, barring websites or blogs under Section 263(2) and start investigations based on the provisions of the Act."

 533 complaints
The MCMC statement said that an action that contravened Malaysian laws in the offline world was also an offence in the online world, adding that 533 complaints of Internet abuse have been received.

Dr Rais Yatim said that the MCMC needed expert evidence [computer forensic experts] in order to effect successful prosecution. "We need proof that can stand in court. It is difficult for prosecutors to succeed based only on proof available on hard disks."

"Knowledge in computer forensics will make it easier for us to face the likes of Facebook and Twitter and how addresses are used in websites," he said.


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