Online news sites to be included under PPPA

(Bernama) – The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 will be amended to expand its scope and include ‘publications’ posted online and plug loopholes, Home Ministry secretary-general Mahmood Adam said.

Among other things, the ministry is looking at the definition of “publication” and whether it should include Internet content, blogs or Facebook for the law to keep pace with the changing landscape of the digital era.

Mahmood said the ministry was working with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to study the proposed amendments.

“We hope the amendments will be tabled in Parliament by March, because we need to overcome weaknesses, especially those involving multimedia content,” he said after presenting appointment letters to members and associate members of the Film Censorship Board and Film Appeal Board in Putrajaya yesterday.

“We have to expand the Act so that it does not only cover the print media, because the landscape is totally different now, especially with the intrusion of digital technology,” he said.

It is expected that online news websites, as with the traditional media, will required to apply for government-issued publication licences.

‘Amendments not meant to tighten control’

Mahmood said the ministry monitored Internet content on a daily basis, including what was shown on the online video site YouTube.

NONEHe said the amendments were not meant to tighten control over the press but to address loopholes in the law and make it more inclusive.

“We monitor what is in YouTube and discuss it. We won’t be able to control it, but we have to see how to go about it.”

On films, Mahmood said the ministry was also updating the guidelines and standard operating procedures of film censorship to cope with current downloading technologies available.

He said although the existing guidelines were only a year old, they had to be modified to ensure they suited the 1Malaysia concept of giving priority to the people’s interests.

“Modification of the guidelines is to ensure we can control the entry of films using the latest technology, such as pen-drives and computers.

– Bernama