If you’re on Unifi you might have noticed that some sites are blocked and it’s due to government directives to block these sites. Now that goes against what the Government of Malaysia promised it’s stakeholders during the advent of the MsC, in which it promised to not censor the internet. If you remember, somewhere in August 2008, the government issued a similar directive to censor Malaysia Today.
So what’s a average user to do to bypass these internet blocks. The blocks themselves are issued by the government and issued to all ISPs, fortunately there are a couple of ways to bypass these internet blocks which amount to censorship, and it depends on what kind of mechanism your ISP uses to block it. I’m all for a free internet and here are some ways you can bypass those blocks.
A recent article from the Star noted that Malaysia was about to sign a new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that would make subject local copyright laws to those imposed by the US. Now according to the article from the star the purpose of us looking into a stricter Intellectual property law was to “encourage investments, innovation, research and development”. That is a false premise.
The laws by themselves are useless if enforcement isn’t there, and if you can’t even enforce the current IP law, then why bother changing the laws if there is no plan to up the enforcement? Also this premise that we will encourage research and development with a strict law is both flawed and without basis. There is no empirical evidence to suggest that innovation thrives when Intellectual property is strictly enforced, in fact innovation is effectively crippled when you’re afraid that anything you produce might infringe on someone else’s copyright. It would lead to a point where corporations would spend more checking on copyright infringement then they would actually innovating and producing.
There’s been a recent surge of Anti-SOPA and Anti-PIPA sentiment over in the Unites States, Wikipedia blacked out it’s entire webpage and Google, Twitter and Facebook all joined in the fray. I’ve even received multiple emails from the Mozilla foundation on how to combat SOPA and recent a congratulatory cum Thank you note from Mozilla for joining the fight. Make no mistake, SOPA isn’t dead, it’s just been shelved for the time being, get ready people round2 starts soon.
In Malaysia though there has been little reporting on the issue, while some local blogs did mention SOPA, and a few newspapers briefly covered it, not much has been discussed on either of the laws. It’s typical of the Malaysian media to report less on matters that actually matter, and more on frivolous material like this article from the New Straits Times that read “Unity is Priceless: PM”. Really? Cause the rest of us thought Unity was worth around about Rm2.75 . I mean apart from pointing out the obvious, the article has absolutely no content, apart from the big picture with the “We Love the PM” nonsense.
That being said, there were a few articles on SOPA and PIPA, however those articles for censored to a certain degree, and here’s how.
I’ve posted a couple of post around SOPA and PIPA, and today there was a protest from one of the most web-traffic websites of all — WIKIPEDIA.
Wikipedia, today was blacked out to protest SOPA and now you know. Every college student looking to do a term paper, every high school student looking for information on a term paper and if you’re looking for just about anything online, you’re going to see a blacked out wikipedia– and so now you know about SOPA.
If you’re looking for a way to work around the black-out though, visit this link from the awesome website Naked Security.
A couple of days ago, I stumbled onto a website by mozilla claiming “The internet we know and love is at risk”. Now I’m not one to panic but this was some serious stuff here, Mozilla is a company I admire and respect, so if it tells me something serious is going down, I stand up and pay attention.
Further reading brought on a couple of key points, namely that Mozilla was talking about the new Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that was designed to stop online piracy, but what it would effectively do was make give copyright holders essentially too much control over their copyrighted material. Now copyright holders undoubtedly have legal rights to their work, but giving them the right to shut down YouTube because someone sang their song and posted a video takes that a bit too far.
Mozilla also claim:
The fact is that this legislation as written won’t stop piracy. But it would pose a serious threat to social media and user generated content sites (like YouTube) across the internet. It could also undermine some of the core technical systems underlying the internet, creating new cybersecurity risks.
As a non-profit committed to keeping the web open and accessible to all, Mozilla wants to ensure that this legislation does not jeopardize the foundational structure of the Internet.
Unfortunately, I’m not a US-Citizen so I can’t join in the calling to US members of Congress, but you probably can. Over here in Malaysia we’ve got our own laws we need fighting. Visit here if you wish to join Mozilla and their cause against SOPA.