The country’s Communications and Multimedia Commission has submitted request to all local Internet service providers, demanding them to block 10 file-sharing websites for violating the national Copyright Act of 1987. This was made in contradiction of the country’s Bill of Guarantees, which stipulates “no censorship of the web”.
The Malaysian government followed the American one, starting a web filtering campaign. It has already ordered the broadband providers to block 10 file-sharing online services for allegedly violating Malaysian Copyright Act.
A letter dated May 30th has been sent by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to all Internet service providers. The notification requested the ISPs to block access to the largest file-sharing websites, As a result, Malaysian users noticed either throttled connection speeds or an inability to connect to websites like The Pirate Bay or MegaUpload. In a few days, a complaint was submitted to the authorities over the new filtering system. The author of the complaint asked an explanation of what was going on.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission replied that under the law of 1998, the licensee have to assist the authorities to prevent the offence under any written law of the country, upon written request by the government. That’s why the Commission has been requested to notify the licensed ISPs to block Internet sites violating the Copyright Act 1987.
In looks like a very odd twist for the country’s Internet users, since just a couple months ago the Prime Minister had promised that his government would never censor the web. Malaysia has also enacted an Internet “Bill of Guarantees”, which provides citizens with certain incentives, rights and privileges, including the one saying that the government ensures no censorship of the web.
It is unclear which websites are still blocked, because compliance of the broadband providers varies. While some of them have reportedly blocked all 10 websites, the others have just throttled connection speeds. In addition, speed decline mostly affected Megaupload and Fileserve only, while the rest of the websites on the list seemingly remain untouched. Anyway, all Malaysian subscribers have to do to access the file-sharing sites is to use OpenDNS or Google DNS.