(Laptop image by Manu Mohan / sxc.hu; artwork by Scott Feldstein @ Flickr)
KUALA LUMPUR, 16 June 2009: Pornographic websites are among 38 “offensive” sites which government servants are blocked from accessing.
In addition, a 2003 government circular to civil servants warns them against downloading or uploading material that may disparage the government’s image or that are “protest photos, songs or text” in nature.
The list of government banned websites — which include URLs like http://ghairah-betul.blogspot.com, http://skandalmelayu.blogspot.com and http://syurga-islam.blogspot.com — was revealed in a written answer to a question posed by Seputeh Member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok in the Dewan Rakyat today.
An additional website, http://www.shilesjack.com, has also been blocked in government networks because it was deemed seditious.
Kok had asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to reveal a list of websites which government officials were barred from visiting.
She also asked the prime minister to state whether the government had a code of ethics for internet use for civil servants in government offices.
The Prime Minister’s Department said a circular titled “Guidelines for Procedures of Internet and Electronic Mail Use in Government Agencies” was issued in 2003.
Among other things, the circular restricts civil servants using the internet from:
downloading, uploading, or using illegal software;
downloading or uploading files of more than 10 megabytes, “that may slow down the service and operation of the network”;
downloading or uploading material containing “slander that may disparage the image of the government”;
downloading or uploading “protest photos, songs or text” that can lead to “chaos and scare other internet users”; and
downloading or uploading obscene material.
Kok also asked the prime minister for the total number of bloggers the government had taken action against.
The prime minister said to date, a total of eight suspects have faced action from the Communication and Multimedia Commission, while the police has taken action against one suspect.
“There are several websites and blogs under investigation by the Royal Malaysian Police, but these have not yet been applied with a ‘larangan melayari’ (‘don’t surf’) action,” Najib said.