Sunday, 8 April 2007

Malaysian authorities, not content with banning books it deems “detrimental to public order” or "able to disrupt peace and harmony", has mooted a move to have local bloggers registered.

Malaysian blogger Sharon Bakar reports that "Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said in parliament yesterday that bloggers using locally hosted websites may be required to register with the authorities".

Local newspaper The Star reports that an online poll of readers reveals that "many were incredulous".

Further news is available on the Web site of Al Jazeera, where it is reported that a number of Malaysian bloggers have formed The National Alliance of Bloggers.

Ahirudin Attan, the group's president, said some bloggers had been repeatedly "demonised".

The alliance was formed late on Thursday after close to 50 online commentators met in Kuala Lumpur and decided to set up a group aimed at protecting them from harassment.

The move comes as the government reportedly considers setting up a 'blogger registry' to control anonymous postings with hwta it calls "malicious content" - which are usually comments critical of policies deemed as a national security threat.

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