Malaysia holding providers liable for the acts of users online.

The idea of applying of holding service providers liable for the acts committed by the users of the service has been around for a while. Personally I think holding a service provider liable for the illegal acts of the users is absurd, but then other might disagree.

Taking this concept a step further, the Malaysian government has made amendments to their Malaysian Evidence Act of 1950 which would essentially hold a website operator or a forum manager or even a service provider to be liable for any comments, content etc posted by their users which could be classified as being illegal by the government.

The diplomat in their article explains it succinctly “This means that a blogger or forum moderator who allows seditious comments on his or her site can be held liable under the law. An internet café manager is accountable if one of his or her customers sends illegal content online through the store’s WiFi network. A mobile phone owner is the perpetrator if defamatory content is traced back to his or her electronic device. ”

Though this law has been enacted in a country far from us in New York and in many ways not part of the mainstream conversation, it is significant because we have seen reflections of this chain of thought in the  SOPA and CISPA bills which were opposed and not passed in the US, because the ability to communicate freely is paramount, albeit with secure privacy measures.

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