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New Cyberbullying Evidence Rules May Go Too Far 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticks-and-stones dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Malaysian Government has recently passed an amendment to their Evidence Act that has been designed to hold cyber bullies accountable for their malicious tirades on blogs or Facebook Walls. Unfortunately, the amendment has been worded such that 'If your name, photograph or pseudonym appears on any publication depicting yourself as the author, you are deemed to have published the content' and 'If a posting comes from your Internet or phone account, you are deemed to be the publisher unless the contrary is proved.' What these raft of amendments have done is shifted the burden of proof to the accused. One is considered guilty until proven innocent. Even the simple act of posting an offending message on a friend's Facebook Wall could get that friend, and not the original poster, into trouble with this law. Although the amendments were initiated by good intentions, a conspiracist can see how easily this law can be misused to curb dissent in Malaysia."
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New Cyberbullying Evidence Rules May Go Too Far

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  • Why the difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @03:50PM (#40129999)

    I still don't get why people seem to insist on different laws for "cyber" something versus "in real life" something. Bullying is bullying. Threats are threats. Adjust your existing laws accordingly, but they should cover both things the same way.

    • by Belial6 (794905) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @04:16PM (#40130139)
      Because with "cyber" bullying, the nerds are on equal or better footing. We can't have that.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Because the world wide web is this new and mysterious thing, full of boobies and buzzwords. I imagine the obsession with "cybering-up" nouns will die out as more and more of the population log on and begin surfing the information superhighway.

      Christ, when I hear the cyber thing it puts me in mind of elderly white men trying to connect to young black youths by saying "you da man" and expressing an appreciation for the raps of Ice Tea.
    • It's because lawmakers likely teach their children how to bully, but don't know enough about cyberbullying to do the same. Also, bullying is less likely to harm the bullies political career later in life. It's much harder to 'expose' your opponent if all you have is the word of a former victim, then it is if you have detailed transcripts of everything he/she wrote.

      So cyberbullying makes a hands fell-good tough-on-crime target. Prohibit something that they don't care about, but many parents do.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        However there seems to be a real failing in this law to differentiate between push and pull 'sic' cuber-bullying. The bully visiting you and hurling insults versus you visiting the bully and being insulted or meeting on neutral ground and being insulted. What level of exchange constitutes bullying and minors versus adults. Of course why minors are even on an adult network when minors are not allowed unaccompanied in any other adult forums like night clubs or hotels, well that another story, perhaps it has

        • Of course why minors are even on an adult network when minors are not allowed unaccompanied in any other adult forums like night clubs or hotels

          Probably because there is no way to stop them. The parents are the only ones who have a chance to stop them, but some simply don't care (and for good reason, in my opinion). I don't see any point in stopping them, either.

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            The point is you don't attempt to turn an adults network into suitable for toddlers network because of lazy parents. If you want a child suitable internet you specifically create one.

    • I can understand what leads to laws such as this, or the recent NY attempt to eliminate anonymous posting. I don't entirely support the logic, but I can understand it:

      We've always had the ability to be anonymous in our insults. We can shout our insults from the crowd or dress up in white robes and a hood to attend the KKK rally. But the major difference is that in those cases, we are not so easily free of the consequences of our actions. It is easy now to post pretty much anywhere under a false or non

    • by bhagwad (1426855)
      Because anyone can just ignore words on a screen. Sticks and stones and all that...
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I still don't get why people seem to insist on different laws for "cyber" something versus "in real life" something. Bullying is bullying. Threats are threats. Adjust your existing laws accordingly, but they should cover both things the same way.

      Because there are twp properties about the Internet that do not apply to local life as we're used to.

      1) The internet memory is infinite, and forever. Attempts to wipe the memory result in it being more spread out and diverse (aka Streisand Effect). Once something is

  • Basic Overview (Score:5, Informative)

    by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Sunday May 27, 2012 @03:53PM (#40130009) Homepage Journal

    For anybody who wants a basic overview of Malay law regarding these matters, there's an issue of the Malayan Law Journal (actually an article supplement) that covers this in language easily understood by the layperson (and it's also in English, to boot). The PDF is located here: http://jeraldgomez.com/pdf/7cd40a1889d4539feffda786372ff33b.pdf [jeraldgomez.com] and I would point you to page 3 (page 4 of the PDF).

    Basically, they are based on English Common Law, and signed the UDHR, but have a history of legislation that allows detention without trial, originally designed to combat communism.

    • Combat communism is a euphemism for control the populace, nothing more.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        red commies, capitalists, terrorists, hooligans, pedefiles, Jews, etc. etc.

        Any law that removes freedoms guaranteed in the constitution for the purpose of fighting any specific "undesirables" because these are "special circumstances", is a law that will be used to crush dissent, "wrong" opinions, and generally keep people in power in power. These are all slippery slope laws that have no business in modern societies.

        "Special circumstances" are what the courts are for, not politicians.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Basically, they are based on English Common Law, and signed the UDHR, but have a history of legislation that allows detention without trial, originally designed to combat communism.

      And the United States of Amerika has Gitmo for indefinite detention of those the government unilaterally deems without trial to be terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. Funny how a US military base is located in a Communist country yet there own citizens cannot visit the island nation as tourists...though they could visit if deemed a terrorist. Lovely world when logic and ethics, much less the rule of law, cease to mean anything.

      • Child soldiers, too [wikipedia.org]. He was 15 when they arrested him, and his detention at Gitmo (and continued detention in Canada) is a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of child soldiers.

        • by jrumney (197329)
          But, but... he's not a child soldier, he's a child illegal combatant, so human rights laws do not apply.
  • I'm asian and not a lawyer. However it is well known that the accuse here bear a some burden of proof. And you are not allowed to be represented by a lawyer while under investigation/interrogation. US laws do not apply here. I'm referring to general legal matters not referring specifically to the Internal Security Act which allow detention without trial.
  • I worry that they're going a little too far in trying to deal with "cyber" bullying. IMO, bullying online is mostly the same as it is in person. It doesn't always involve violence or threats of violence. It's usually just verbal harassment which is, by definition, repetitive. My main concern is that they're going to end up passing a law that treats a one-time thing, like an argument or a heat-of-the-moment insult, as the same thing as bullying.
  • Kinda curious on how they intend to apply this "law" to somebody OUTSIDE Malaysia "cyber-bullying" someone inside Malaysia.. The denizens of /. know how well laws like this work when applied to a world-wide medium like the internet, namely THEY DON'T!! I guess the old wisdom that you have to have 75% of your brain removed, 100% of your honesty to become a politician is true..

  • this whole cyber-bullying is nonsense. It needn't ever have been anything more than standard slander and libel laws which already existed.

    I certainly can't say that I made it through my childhood without being bullied. But minus the actual bruises, I'd never suggest that I'd be better off without the bullies.

    Quite frankly, the amount of adult insulting I've received from family, friends, and clients for having spent a real amount of money on trees is for more offensive than anything from my school days.

    • by lexsird (1208192)

      These are important life lessons that normal people learn.

    • Probably because I've long since learned to ignore other people's opinions.

      You're not sensitive enough. You need to cry and commit suicide when other people express an opinion that you don't agree with.

      This is all for the children, so anything is okay.

  • There is no dissent in Malaysia. Everyone there tells me so.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @09:50PM (#40131707) Homepage Journal

    It will be used exclusively against people who criticize Islam.

    • by arobadog (246344)

      Pure FUD. Sharia and Mundane laws are well established to handle criticism of Islam, the King, or other key components of Malaysia.

  • Cyber or not, the solution is the same: Turn the tables. Bully back! Make the bully the victim. It works like a charm.

    Just be prepared to go to any length necessary in order to match and respond in kind.

    Example: The bully beats up weaker kids and steal their lunch money (classic).
    Solution: Beat up the bully and steal all his money. Bigger brothers of the weak kid are the best to use here, but parents and even the odd biker will do. Just lay it on him and don't hold back. Make sure the bully knows that he as

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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