Malaysia slips in Internet freedom; same ranking as Libya

(The Malaysian Insider) – The report cited the recent amendments to the Evidence Act 1950, namely Section 114A of the law, which holds the computer or equipment owner liable for seditious content as a very troubling development.

Malaysia’s Internet freedom has worsened this year as seen in the latest global survey of 47 countries, putting it on the same level as Libya after Putrajaya introduced new laws seen to curb electronic media use.

Internet freedom for Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy was judged to be only “partly free”, after it scored 43 out of 100 points — the same as Libya — dropping two notches in the Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media report released last week by Freedom House, a US research organisation advocating democracy, political freedom and human rights.

The annual study evaluates each country based on barriers to access, limits on content, and violations of user rights, and traces trends from January 2011 to May 2012. The lower the numerical score, the better the ranking.

Each country is marked on a score from 0 (the most free) to 100 (the least free), which serves as the basis for an Internet freedom status designation of Free (0-30 points), Partly Free (31-60 points), or Not Free (61-100 points).

Malaysia took the 23rd spot, trailing behind the Philippines, South Korea, India and Indonesia among the Asian countries surveyed.

But Malaysia came out ahead of Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar and China. Singapore was not included in Freedom House’s global study.

The top five spots in descending order were occupied by Estonia, the United States, Germany, Australia and Hungary, which scored fewer than 20 points out of 100.

Read more at: