Tag Archives: internet law

Guilty until proven innocent

 

Recently , Evidence (Amendment) (No 2) Act 2012 was passed whereby Internet users (that is you and me)  are held liable for any content posted through their site or device – which simply means that if someone posted something which could be a national threat or a security issue in your blog or facebook for instance , you are held responsible for it. Even if someone uses your WiFi Network and posts something offensive or uploads a classified document , you are held responsible as well . If someone publishes something using your name which you were not aware of , you would be held responsible as well. You could be even charge under the sedition act or even under different acts as well.

Section 114A states that :-

– a person whose name, photograph or pseudonym appears on any publication depicting himself as the owner, host, administrator, editor or sub-editor, or who in any manner facilitates to publish or re-publish the publication is presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication unless the contrary is proved.

– a person who is registered with a network service provider as a subscriber of a network service on which any publication originates from is presumed to be the person who published or re-published the publication unless the contrary is proved.

– Any person who has in his custody or control any computer on which any publication originates from is presumed to have published or re-published the content of the publication unless the contrary is proved. (Computer here means any data processing device, including tablets, laptops and mobile phones.)

Source : The Sun

 

These kind of laws aren’t something new. Let us take an example , if your friend decides to take your car and starts violating the speed limit. It is you that would be charged (the owner of the car) and not your friend – such law exists and this is not something new. My biggest question is about its implementation and how is it being executed – So if you are charged for something that you did not did or if your friend decided to pull a prank. You need to provide evidence that it was not you or otherwise you would be charged. Imagine paraody accounts of Malaysian celebrities or even politicians on twitter as well. Would that mean the actual celebrity would be charged ? What would the implications be ?  I would also like to know if there are such rules in place in other countries , if so how they are being dealt with ?

My  Thoughts 

Let’s take a closer look and let me state my thoughts .I think it would be a step backwards and I am quite sure that some number of bloggers would start moderating comments before they are published or even worst – they might disable comments all together as they do not want to be held accountable. Yes , no dobut if you own a site or something you are responsible for its content , but the question is what if you are not the person who actually committed it , in this case of identity theft. No doubt that identity theft is becoming much more common even in Malaysia , whereby people unknowingly give out their bank account number to scammers (I am quite sure that we have read such cases in newspaper)  . My question and what I would like to know is how the law is going to be used and how is it going to be executed ? What if you are forced to accept the blame even though you know that you did not do it ?

 

There are lots of questions which I need to seek answer and research and most importantly to get feedback from my fellow readers

 

My  Advice

Just monitor your blog or your facebook from time to time. Even if you are no longer blogging , try to disable comments or enable moderation (this is applicable if you are an inactive blogger or you plan to take ‘off’). Take a look at the article that you are about to post , make sure that you have sufficient evidence to back up your claims , if not just do not bother posting . If you have WiFi in your place , make sure that it is secured properly , this is true even if you are running a restaurant or providing free wifi services for your customers. Its a good way of learning to take responsibility over your blog/facebook and start learning on how to secure your facebook and your Internet identity as well

 

I do hope to hear from fellow bloggers on what they are going to do about it. As for me, I am going to a bit of research on this topic and see what I could gather