Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Malaysia, ISPs, pirate content and the power of the hacking community


Malaysia has always placed itself at the forefront of internet technology in South East Asia. But at the same time Malaysia has long been accused by the content industries of not taking enough action against pirated DVDs and CDs. Malaysia has long been one of the Asia's major sources of pirated digital content.

Pirate Bay logo
Following pressure from the TV, movie and music industries the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the government internet regulatory agency, agreed in early June to ban the Motion Picture Association's arch enemy Pirate Bay's sites which offer illegal movie downloads, along with TV shows and music. 

This led to massive online protests including a Facebook page against the decision, partly focusing on the government's promise not to censor the Internet.

The Hacker's announcement
 Then on June 12 it was reported that Hackers launched a campaign (see their notice above) to cause havoc on Malaysian government websites. Some 91 sights were hacked after the notorious Anonymous international hackers group targeted the Malaysian government. Later reports indicated that 50 government sites were compromised but little damage was done.

The blurring of lines between online piracy (and the battle between MPA and Pirate Bay), and online censorship (which attracted the hacking community), is increasingly common and will make the piracy issue more complex.

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