Thursday, 4 December 2014

Revised Sedition Act to consider burden of proof on social media – Bernama

The burden to prove seditious or defamatory remarks made inside and outside social media are among the matters that will be scrutinised in a bid to improve the Sedition Act 1948.

Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the burden to prove actual sedition and defamation, including for the cases brought to courts, should be taken into consideration as many social media users were using their nicknames or a fake identity.

"There's a suggestion for all media users to register (their true identity) with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Logically, it is doable, but technically, challenges await because some individuals registered as social media users, such as Facebook, from overseas. 

"In fact, Facebook is not registered under the MCMC. The public need to understand this," he said in Kuala Lumpur today.

Shabery also said Facebook registration did not require users to share their detailed information and this made it difficult to prove the identity of persons who abused the social media.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently announced that the Sedition Act would be maintained with improvements so that it would remain relevant with the change of time.

Shabery explained that it was also a big challenge for any country, including the developed ones, to prove that a social media user had committed a defamation or sedition offence.

"Maybe the other alternative is to foster cooperation with Facebook, Twitter and other social media, or to register IP addresses that will enable forensic work to be carried out to detect those involved," he said. – Bernama, December 1, 2014.

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