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New Cyberbullying Evidence Rules May Go Too Far 125

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.

  • Re:Rights? Right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Swave An deBwoner ( 907414 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @04:12PM (#40130119)
    Yeah, there's one in every crowd. This was a report about one teacher yelling at one student. The /. article however is about a government action.

    SPENCER, NC â" A North Carolina high school teacher was captured on video shouting at a student who questioned President Obama and suggesting he could be arrested for criticizing a sitting president.

  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27, 2012 @04:29PM (#40130215)
    Sure, and when I steal a screwdriver from your unlocked garden shed, you should be held legally responsible when I later break in to your house to stab some sense in to your head. Do we really want requirements for holding online accounts to be akin to owning guns?
  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @04:43PM (#40130271)

    You can put someone down, harass them, etc, on-line exactly the same way you can in person. Punching someone in the stomach is assault, not bullying, and I assume that they already have laws for that. Just because the bullying doesn't involve assault does not make it less damaging.

  • Re:Rights? Right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Sunday May 27, 2012 @04:44PM (#40130275)

    That's not a bug, it's a feature.

    Replace "you" with "politician with an axe to grind" and "lawlord" with "dissident"

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @05:02PM (#40130389)

    You can put someone down, harass them, etc, on-line exactly the same way you can in person.

    No you can't. You cannot turn off a real bully by clicking your mouse.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @05:58PM (#40130689)

    You can walk away, which is the equivalent. It's already happened, the damage has been done. Here in Canada, (and I've seen several in the US as well) there have been quite a few cases of openly gay high school students committing suicide after being verbally bullied for many years. It's not that easy to turn it off in real life, or on-line without cutting yourself off from society at large. Most of the "nerds" that I know put up with pretty much the same thing in school. I'm quite surprised that people here on SlashDot are having a hard time grasping the concept.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.