This is just dumb and stoopid to the highest order. While it is understandable that our Information and Communications Minister has little knowledge of the inner workings of the Internet, I cannot fathom the fact that none of the people working in the ministry has any brains either. You just cannot censor the Internet. It is a technical improbability. Countries greater than ours have tried and failed. Technologies made for it have come and gone. I just do not understand how someone in the ministry can even think of applying Internet controls in Malaysia.
The only way someone can censor the Internet is to cut the wires off entirely, which would be far more detrimental than having a bad Internet in place. Actually, they would need to cut off the wireless as well, which would be completely impossible short of stepping back to the stone-age. You can be sure that if our government pushes to have the Internet censored in Malaysia, there will be a complete backlash. Any website that the government tries to shut down will just gain in infamy and become instant hits. Our Malaysian Internet users are far more educated in workarounds than most people can imagine. We have grown up in an environment where ‘work around’ is a daily familiarity.
As other experts have asserted, the government would benefit far more by spending the money on Internet education instead. Have the students in schools learn about the bad stuff on the Internet and how to avoid it. In fact, I would stress that this would benefit everyone, not just the government. Our people could become the most savvy Internet users in the world, with the inert ability to avoid phishing, avoid trojans, avoid Nigerian scams and avoid every other kind of Internet malcontent imaginable.
Now, that would be a plan that everyone could agree upon.
On the other hand, maybe this is a good thing. Any sort of user-level censorship that they choose to implement will most definitely be Windows based. It might just spur the adoption of Linux and open source software. Okay, maybe it is not such a bad thing after all!