Section 114A, otherwise known as Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012, was passed by Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara in April this year and was gazetted on 31st July by de facto law Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz
Why you should be concerned?
The amendment has raised concerns from many parties such as lawyers,activists and Internet-based businesses. Under Section 114A, an Internet user is deemed the publisher of any online content unless proven otherwise.
It also makes individuals and those who administer, operate or provide spaces for online community forums, blogging and hosting services, liable for content published through its services. This presumption of guilt goes against a fundamental principle of justice – innocent until proven guilty – and disproportionately burdens the average person who may not have the resources to defend himself in court.
The amendment’s wide reach will affect all internet users, websites which provide space for online comments, and any business premises which give free Wi-Fi access to their customers.
In addition, the new amendment was passed despite the fact that existing laws — including the Computer Crimes Act 1997, Sedition Act 1948, Defamation Act 1957, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 — have been used to arrest and charge in court those who commit defamation, criminal defamation, fraud and sedition online.
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