Thursday, August 28, 2008

SKMM 'right to act against Msia Today' - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Aug 28, 2008 By LEE YUK PENG, ROYCE CHEAH and SIM LEOI LEOI

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia or SKMM) was “only exercising its power” when it ordered the 19 Internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block the Malaysia Today website.

“Everyone is subject to the law, even websites and blogs,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

“We do not intend to curtail people’s freedom or right to express themselves.

“But when they publish things that are libellous, slanderous or defamatory, it is natural for SKMM to act,” he said in Parliament lobby on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, SKMM confirmed that it had instructed ISPs to block Malaysia Today.

When contacted, SKMM chief operating officer Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi, who is currently overseas, confirmed the order but declined to elaborate, saying a press conference would be held to explain why action had been taken.

It was reported on Thursday that notices to the ISPs were sent out on Tuesday in accordance with Section 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Section 263 falls under the National Interest Matters part of the Act which states that an SKMM licensee would prevent their facilities from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence under any law of Malaysia.

It also states that upon written request of the SKMM or any other authority, the licensee would assist to prevent the commission or attempted commission of any offence under any written law of Malaysia, including but not limited to the protection of public revenue and the preservation of national security.

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin responded by saying that blocking access to his portal was a breach of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) charter and that he would turn it into "a big issue."

Under MSC Malaysia's 10-Point Bill of Guarantees, it is stated that that Government promised to “ensure no Internet censorship” as part of its commitment to ensuring the success of MSC status companies.

Also at Parliament, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said he was not aware of SKMM’s directive to the ISPs.

“SKMM may have briefed the minister on the issue but not me,” he said, adding that minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, currently in Bali, Indonesia, would return to Malaysia either later Thursday or by Friday.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, when asked to comment, said, “I am aware of the issue but it is not under my jurisdiction.”

It is understood that only TMnet, the nation's largest ISP, has complied with SKMM's directive. Other ISPs contacted by The Star have declined to comment.

TMnet users can still access Malaysia Today through a mirror website however.

While unusual, SKMM's move was not unprecedented.

For example, last year, in a concerted effort with the Securities Commission, Bank Negara Malaysia and CyberSecurity Malaysia, it closed down several websites which were suspected of being involved in fraudulent investment schemes.

3 comments:

MalaysianToday said...

In the event that MCMC decides to further implement a full blocking of websites or blogs not friendly to UMNO/BN, the followings can be used as an effective way to circumvent internet censorship:

1. Accessing a mirror site
2. Using a non-censoring DNS-server
3. Using a non-censoring proxy server


1. Access a mirror site
For instance, Malaysia Today can still be accessed at this moment at http://mt.harapanmalaysia.com . Using mirror sites may not be effective as they may start blocking these sites too.


2. Using a non-censoring DNS-server
Change your DNS to OpenDNS server 208.67.222.222 or 208.67.220.220 .

Click http://www.opendns.com for more info on how to set DNS.


3. Using a non-censoring proxy server

(i) Proxy Sites
More effectively, this blocking can be circumvented by surfing through a proxy sites, such as:
http://proxychina.org
http://proxy4china.com

There are many proxy sites available, just google for them.


(ii) Proxy Tunnelling Software
Another better and most effective way to circumvent internet censor is by using Ultrasurf. It is developed by the people against internet censorship in China. It enables users inside countries with heavy Internet censorship to visit any public web sites in the world safely and freely while it automatically searches the highest speed proxy servers in the background.

Download Ultrasurf software from:
http://www.ultrareach.com
http://www.wujie.net/downloads/ultrasurf/u.zip

Then extract the file and run, that's it.

If you are using browser other than IE, then you have to manually change your proxy IP address to 127.0.0.1 with port :9666 .


(iii) TOR and TOR based browsers
For those who are more IT savvy, they can try TOR. TOR based browsers are also available, such as xb Browser and OperaTor. But TOR solution tends to give slower internet surfing experience.



Say NO to internet censorship.

Billgates said...

Thank you malaysiantoday for the useful tips.

Say no to Internet Censorship

Khun Pana said...

No logic at all !
Malaysian multimedia act do not have censorship laws.
While this minister says that MT is an insult . Why and what's the logic for not banning sites that are Anti Islam , sites that promotes copyrights piracy and porno sites ?
Is it because MT talks bad on umno and therefore deserves to be blocked and Raja Petra deserves continued harassment.
Syed hamid deserves to be nominated the " Talk Cock" award .
Which carries the title- Datuk Seri Talk Cock Syed albar.