Internet Freedoms in Malaysia During the Mahathir/Anwar Tension
Tue, 27 Oct 1998 09:43:03 +1100
The following [anonymised] message was written by a person who is familiar
with conditions at present in Malaysia.
The process described in the attached letter-to-the-editor is basically the
same as that which I understand to prevail in Australia right now; so
freedoms seem to be holding up over there at least as well as they did in
Australia during the Askin era in N.S.W. and the Vietnam War Moratorium
period generally ...
>> For Malaysians who are apprehensive about discussing certain sensitive
>> issues via email, the letter below from mal of mimos to the Far Eastern
>> Economic Review (FEER) may provide some reassurance, assuming of course that
>> you believe him and mimos.
>> Personally, I believe that mimos does not monitor each and every individual
>> email message although I am sure that the govt does subscribe to the
>> newsgroups and discussion mailing lists like sangkancil and bungaraya and it
>> does post the govt's viewpoint and/or propaganda to those forums.
>> So far to their credit, the Malaysian ISPs like Jaring and TMNet have not
>> blocked access to the anti-govt websites and newsgroups. I hope the day
>> will not come when the govt forces the ISPs to make it mandatory for the
>> people to use proxy servers for web access like in Singapore.
>> -- start of included text --
>> Letters to the Editor, FEER
>> October 29, 1998
>> E-Mail Trail
>> In Alternative News [Oct. 8], you say that "Internet service provider
>> Mimos has denied rumours that the government tried to block sites such
>> as www.anwar.com.my, but it has demonstrated that it can monitor
>> messages if it chooses. On September 24, four people accused of
>> causing panic in Kuala Lumpur by spreading rumours about rioting on
>> the Internet were charged in court. Police found them after Mimos
>> helped trace e-mail messages back to their source."
>> I wish to state very clearly that we never monitor messages that pass
>> through our network. In this particular case, the police gave us the
>> message (complete with its header) for us to trace the sender. We are
>> bound by requirements to cooperate with the police in their
>> investigations. We only identified the account used to send the
>> message. It was up to the police to determine the actual person or
>> organization that sent the message.
>> MOHAMED AWANG-LAH
>> Vice-President, Mimos
>> Kuala Lumpur
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916 mailto:Roger.Clarke@anu.edu.au
Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
The Australian National University Canberra ACT 0200 AUSTRALIA
Information Sciences Building Room 211 Tel: +61 2 6249 3666