Cyber Crackdowns in Malaysia and Turkey

It appears to be a bad week for free speech online, as both the governments of Malaysia and Turkey are taking steps to crack down on bloggers.

In Malaysia, widely read blogger and government critic Raja Petra Kamaruddin has been ordered to serve two years in prision “without charge or trial under a draconian law known as the internal security act,” according to Agence France-Presse. Watch the AFP video report on the situation.

For background on Malaysian bloggers’ ongoing fight for freedom of speech, see this May 2007 piece by WPR contributor Fabio Scarpello.

Meanwhile, a Turkish court has banned Blogger, the Google-owned blog-hosting site, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The Monitor report says that a law passed ostensibly aimed at online pornography has “given the state broad powers. The newly created Telecommunications Directorate, a government office that monitors the Internet, is allowed to shut down sites without a court order. The agency has been behind 612 bans this year.”

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