Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that he will ask his government to reassess a new law on the Internet, which according to some critics, could restrict online freedom.
Malaysians surfing popular blogs and some political websites were greeted by pop-up banners and blacked-out pages prepared as part of a concerted campaign against a controversial law.
The law holds owners of Wi-Fi connections or editors of blogs or forums legally accountable for any seditious or defamatory material spread through their accounts or websites.
According to the Wall Street Journal, activists claim that the new law, which took effect on July 31 this year, is vague and could unfairly punish average Internet users.
They argued it makes too many individuals liable for seditious content, including business owners who provide Wi-Fi access.
The law also assumes guilt ‘unless the contrary is proven,’ which activists claimed unfairly burdens ordinary Internet users who may be unable to defend themselves in court.
According to the paper, Najib, on the micro blogging site Twitter, said that the law will be reassessed.
“I have asked Cabinet to discuss section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950. Whatever we do we must put people first,” he tweeted.