MALAYSIA BLOCKS PIRATE BAY, MEGAUPLOAD AND OTHER SITES

June 12, 2011 – 3:29 am

In what appears to be a memo sent to ISPs by the regulator of Internet industries in Malaysia, all service providers have been ordered to completely block various file-sharing sites including The Pirate Bay, MegaVideo and other hosting services. The move follows an April statement by the country’s Prime Minister in which he promised his administration would never censor the Internet. By Enigmax of TorrentFreak.

Editor’s note: In 1996, Dr Mahathir Mohammad, then prime minister of Malaysia, launched the Multimedia Super Corridor in and around the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, with the intention of turning the area into South-east Asia’s Silicon Valley bound by a fiber-optics network and providing high-speed computer links. As recent as April 24, 2011, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said: “When he was the Prime Minister, and Malaysia was developing our Multimedia Super Corridor, Tun [Dr Mahathir] 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.” Instead of making more efforts to increase internet accessibility and especially internet speeds - according to Akamai’s State of the Internet report for Q4 2010, Malaysia has an average internet speed of 1.3Mbps. South Korea continues to have the fastest internet speed in the world with 13.7Mbps; Hong Kong with 9.4Mbps and Japan with 8.3Mbps - Malaysia now wants to ban free sites such as fileserve and megaupload. A heavy-handed way that attacks both pirates and those who share legitimately. That’s no way to encourage a Malaysian Silicon Valley.

The regulation of the communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia is handled by SKMM – the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. Under a 1998 Act of the same name, the Commission is empowered to carry out a range of functions, several of which are law-related.

According to SKMM’s website, the Commission has the power to “implement and enforce the provisions of the communications and multimedia law”, “regulate all matters relating to communications and multimedia activities not provided for in the communications and multimedia law” and to recommend reforms to existing law.

SKMM is clearly a powerful organization and if a document uncovered by Wirawanweb.com is authentic (and it appears to tick all of the necessary boxes), its considerable muscles have just been flexed against online copyright infringement.

The memo, titled ‘Request For Action Under Section 263(2) of The Communications and Multimedia Act CMA 1998‘ (the legislation that gives SKMM its powers) appears to order all of Malaysia’s ISPs to immediately block a number of high-profile file-sharing related sites, as listed below:

- www.warez-bb.org
- thepiratebay.org
- www.movie2k.to
- www.megavideo.com
- www.putlocker.com
- www.depositfiles.com
- www.duckload.com
- www.fileserve.com
- www.filetube.com
- www.megaupload.com

“The above-mentioned URL/Web Address has been found by Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operative & Consumerism (KPDNKK) to be in contravention of law in Malaysia,” says the memo, which is signed by Acting Senior Director of the Digital Security Services Division, Eneng Faridah Iskandar.

Breaches of Section 41 of the Copyright Act 1987 are being cited by SKMM as the grounds for the blocks, legislation which has been used against a number of Malaysia-hosted file-sharing sites in the past.

During 2008 and 2009, SKMM ordered webhost Shinjiru to take several torrent sites offline due to Section 41 breaches including Superfundo, LeechersLair, Extremebits and Rapthe.

The memo’s content and particularly its timing appear to have come as a shock to many Malaysian Internet users. Speaking at the 1st Malaysian-ASEAN Regional Bloggers Conference in April 2011, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak vowed that his administration would never censor the Internet.

However, SKMM has previously made it clear that in their opinion there is a difference between censorship and upholding the rule of law.

“The Malaysian legal system provides that there is no censorship of the Internet by virtue of Section 3 (3) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998,” the organization said in an earlier statement.

“However, the SKMM would like to remind all Internet users that content that is illegal offline is also illegal online and other laws in Malaysia are applicable regardless of platform and can deal with the various types of offences which are committed via the Internet or any other mobile applications.”

As part of SKMM’s ‘Vision and Mission’ statement, they promise to provide “transparent regulatory processes” so hopefully a full statement on the blocking decision will be delivered in due course.

Despite the memo being dated May 30, 2011, not all ISPs have initiated the block of the sites in question.

 
Click on the graphics for a better view.

Note: The above article was posted at Torrentfreak.com.

  1. 2 Responses to “MALAYSIA BLOCKS PIRATE BAY, MEGAUPLOAD AND OTHER SITES”

  2. And what will be the next step? Political sensitive sites? Malaysian newspapers are already under control by the Malaysian government and have for example not payed attention to this matter (or is it no news?) I missed it in the Star and NST.

    By psyclist on Jun 18, 2011

  3. I missed the Star post: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/6/11/nation/8879884&sec=nation

    By psyclist on Jun 18, 2011

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