Lawyers’ group slams move to regulate 'fake news'

The government’s attempt to regulate what is ‘true’ or ‘false’ in cyberspace will be futile, as obviously, no one has a monopoly over the ‘truth’, says Lawyers for Liberty. – EPA pic, February 2, 2018.

PUTRAJAYA’S special committee to formulate laws to curb “fake news” should be viewed with serious concern, as it might at the expense of freedom of speech, expression, information and the press, said a lawyers’ group. 

New laws could also be open to abuse as questions remain whether the government is able to distinguish “blatantly fabricated” information from critical news reporting that otherwise contains errors, said Lawyers for Liberty (LFL). 

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  • How would you react to the Mafia starting an anti-crime campaign? I bet you you will have all kinds of funny feelings – stunned, bewildered, scepticism, or simply laugh. Such a scenario is not unlike Umno making new laws purportedly to stamp out “fake news”, except that it’s a lot more sinister, as Umno wields autocratic power to persecute its political opponents as it likes.
    That Umno is the biggest manufacturer of fake news is manifested in its supreme leader spitting fire in its annual general assembly that calamity will befall the Malays if Umno loses the election, that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam, as well as the party’s organ Utusan Malaysia being regularly punished by the courts for making false accusation against opposition leaders.
    And considering Umno’s record of regular abuses of laws to oppress the opposition, could one be blamed if he instinctively surmises this “anti-fake news” legislation as Umno’s latest weapon to supplement the already formidable arsenal of repressive laws to silence dissenting voices, this time, aiming more specifically to gain an upper hand in the currently raging cyber warfare ?

    Posted 2 years ago by Kim quek