Saturday, June 02, 2007

Can Someone Assure Lulu That They're Not Talking About Internet Censorship

from the NST, 61 firms running illegal schemes identified
KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission has identified 61 companies that are running illegal on-line investment schemes.
The names of these companies and their websites are on the SC’s website. The market regulator said it would block access to these websites from June 11 and advised those who had invested in them to withdraw their funds and terminate their accounts."Investors will not be able to enter their accounts once access to the websites is blocked," a spokesperson said yesterday. The SC is joining forces with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and CyberSecurity Malaysia to track, identify and block access to local and foreign websites promoting illegal investment schemes.
and the Star, Securities Commission to filter out scams on Net
PETALING JAYA: The Securities Commission will block access to websites offering illegal investment schemes beginning June 11.
Investors, the commission said, would not be able to enter their accounts once access to the websites was blocked.
“All existing investors to such schemes via the Internet are urged to withdraw their investments and terminate their accounts immediately,” the SC said in a statement on its website yesterday
The SC said it was working with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and CyberSecurity Malaysia to track, identify and block access to local and foreign websites promoting such investment scams.
Lulu always thought that MSC's Bill of Guarantees includes the statment "Ensure no Internet censorship"

As recent(?) as Aug 1, 2006, Energy, Water and Communications Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik ensured that there will be NO regulating Internet content

"It's difficult (to control the content) especially when you had given a promise when promoting the MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor). You have to go back on our word. [lulu - if you follow the Iskandariah project, you'd know were getting quite famous for it] Part of the article of guarantees of MSC was no censorship," he said after launching "EZ 2 Own Broadband PC' programme.
One of the bill of guarantees under the MSC conceptualised in 1996 was that the government will not institute Internet censorship.
Asked if the ministry planned to regulate it in future, he reiterated: "Not that I am aware of. Not at the present moment because we've given a bill of guarantees to the MSC."

So, what's happening here?
Isn't blocking those sites tantamount to censorship and/or regulating the internet?

Fair and true, those sites are promoting illegal investment schemes. But isn't there another way to tackle the problem?
And didn't it cross the wise guy's mind that when he's giving the investors notice to withdraw their money, he's at the same time giving notice to the schemers to withdraw THEIR money too and disappear?
And what makes them think that the schemers will not come up with a new site, maybe something as harmless and legitiamate sounding like www.merdekatrust.com.my or even dodgy sounding ones like www.wangbergandamacamanakmertua.com ?
TV Smith put it aptly when he points out, never blame it on one's own greed and stupidity, blame it on the internet.

After they block these dodgy investment site, what next?
some site which gives an honest review of Proton cars?
or Malaysiakini which gives you another perspective of news in Malaysia?
maybe even www.whatalulu.blogspot.com?
i mean, think about it... maybe, some day, all the Lulus in Malaysia may gang up and protest that WhatALulu does not reflect well on their name, and ask that it be blocked.
You don't want that, do you?
Can someone assure Lulu that they're not talking about Internet censorship?
OR
is this indeed the first step of Internet censorship, disguised with good intentions, but leading us into an alley we don't want to enter?

Carboncopy, who blogs at Salinan Karbon also shares his concern over this issue.
this issue as in internet censorship, not whatalulu getting banned.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meantime what has local ISP like Jaring been doing about spams all along? My jaring addy is unusable because it brings 99% spams for years. And does Jaring know that many legitimate overseas mail servers will not deliver mail to our local ISP and their mailboxes - except for the spammer friendly ones?

Now the focus seems to be on big items only.

If their intent is sincere, one would expect them to be more thorough in fighting the real and excessive filth all round, not just in those selected area.

Lulu's scepticism and suspicion is justified.

~wits0~

Anonymous said...

Just censor the Internet and see how many foreign IT corps will pack up and leave Big Bad Badawiland

Anonymous said...

Surely a better is to trace and arrest those responsible for these scams.

Freethinker said...

However I believe this is the right move.... there are just TOO many naive people waiting to be conned..

As for bloggers, it's not something that would dare to touch on easily.. though Zam is paranoid but technically he can't do nuts about it.

If bloggers were to be "censored" with no good valid reason.. Malaysia will feel it.. internet spread things nowadays faster than nobody business....across international... Im sure that's how we want to promote "visit malaysia"

Freethinker said...

Oups..I meant "not" how we want to promote "visit malaysia"

kittykat46 said...

Hi Lulu,
I believe the Computer Crimes Act 1997 empowers the MCMC and other authorities to act against criminal activity on the Internet including fraud etc.
I'm not one to advocate absolute freedom on the internet, just that there needs to be a legal process to act against those guys where necessary. Frankly there is some very nasty criminal activity going on the internet.
As an example, the United States has no censorship on the internet, yet there are cases of web-sites carrying out proven criminal activity being shut down and the perpetrators charged in court.

Lulu has nothing to worry about, unless she's involved in promoting fraud or paedophelia or something like that....hehehe...just pulling your leg.

Ko-chi Wai said...

kittykat,

shutting down the site by going through the proper legal processes is different from just "blocking" a site. "blocking" is just taking the easy way out, and is a very thin fine line away from censorship. instead of using existing laws to clamp down on the ones running the sites (just like those running the bricks-and-mortar versions of such scam houses), "blocking" their sites is not gonna prevent them from having other sites up and running in a jiffy.

Anonymous said...

I suspected that the real reason for blocking these websites is due to the draining of our currency to be invested off-shore. It is true that a majority of these investment websites could be scams but what about those genuine ones? Just imagine, which govt in the world would encourage their people to invest overseas & esp. tax free? Porn sites creates worst characters in humans but why is it that we can have access to it anywhere & anytime. The internet is NOT to be censored. I am sure there is supposed to be a guarantee on the "no censorship" rule somewhere. Can someone please highlight?

"blooloo"