Censorship in Asia

I read a very good article this morning on the growing censorship of the Internet and blogging in Asia. The article: Web Censoring Widens Across Southeast Asia was published in the Wall Street Journal for Monday, 14 September 2009.

The article details a number of efforts by governments to systematically stymie opposition groups, political dissenters, or individual bloggers. I am alarmed that the government in Malaysia would invoke a colonial era Internal Security Act to detain individuals for two years without trial.

The government is trying to put on a friendly moderate face to encourage western companies, and investors to help develop their growing economy. The problem is that laws like the Internal Security Act undermine this moderate view of Malaysia.

The article indicates that 63% of people in Malaysia use the Internet. This is incredible and really provides an opportunity for the government to engage their people.

I am not trying to single out Malaysia by any means, but the closest county in Internet users in the article is Iran with 32%. I don’t see them making any changes to become more open soon.