Internet Censorship in Malaysia

We’ve heard through third parties that there have been a number of inquiries from both the Malaysian government and in-country press expressing disapproval for our having included their nation in our ad on Wednesday. They object to being listed along with China and Iran as example governments who have been known to censor Internet traffic within their borders.

We included Malaysia in this list because it recently ordered various sites to be blocked for copyright reasons without meaningful due process for the affected sites -- just as the current versions of SOPA and PIPA in the United States would propose to do.

The Malaysian government's desire to stop large-scale, commercial piracy is an admirable goal, and one that we agree with, but site blocking is not the right way to do it -- it censors legal content unnecessarily (like the legitimate artists who use sites Megaupload to distribute their works); it is ineffective; and it threatens the security and integrity of the Internet.

By putting Malaysia in between China and Iran in that sentence, we did not mean to imply that its level of censorship and repression of free expression is akin to theirs. That would be a false comparison. To our knowledge, Malaysia's action in this particular instance of copyright is a break from their history of fostering ICT development.

It is our hope that Malaysia will take steps to ensure it has no place on this list.