Today is the big day of Malaysia, a lot of bloggers is writing something for celebrating Merdeka, and others, they might be sleeping at home since it is hard to get holiday to rest at home. Although I am not really a blogger(Just write for fun only), but I would like to write something today as well.
If you did follow up the news recently. you might know that the government had blocked a website that belongs to Raja Petra, a famous blogger who write about politic news. He is so famous that he was brought to the court by those politicians whose involved in his articles.
Although I do not know if everything he write is true or not, but I do not see why his website’s domain have to be block. There is no rules in Malaysia stated that censorship is implemented according to the multimedia act. There is a lot of protest saying that since the government has promised there will be no censorship will be implement in order to allow freedom of speech and accessing information that a internet user wanted, this website shouldn’t be block in away way.
Even if they wanted certain articles to be taken down, they should use a proper channel to request Raja Petra to take down the certain articles. As from what I read from the news, there is no law act is used for blocking the website, it is just merely using the power of the “Government” to block the website’s domain.
Since the government can do this without even care about what they has promised, censorship on any good information that against them will also be block in the future. By then, there will be no freedom of accessing any new or information we wanted to retrieve.
By the way, this kind of blocking is called “Domain Null Routing”. What the ISP do is to null route the domain destination, means they force point the domain to another IP which it not belongs to another server to make it looks like the server is not exists. By default, it is pointed to the web hosting server’s name server which is usually looks like ns1.hosting.com & ns2.hosting.com which them it retrieve the NS server IP. Then the server will detect from which domain it pointed from. If it detects abc.com, it will point the traffic to the abc.com folder to be view by the visitor. But after the ISP null routed the domain, the users is served with a fake server IP and hence, pointed the visitor to another location.
I personally do not agree with this type of censorship. If a person who able to get the fake IP address and host a phishing site, visitors will be pointed to the phishing site without they even know and might cause them accidentally accessed to a virused site.
Another reason why I do not agree with censorship implement on Malaysia’s internet is due to we are able to learn a lot and know a lot more information where the government do not want use to know. Such as opensource information where the government used to disagree Malaysia IT professionals to learn. But now,the government had finally accepted opensource as a good source of saving cost and able to deploy good security systems for the government sector. Opensource people was once recognized as public enemy of the country due to the government has a misconception by thinking that opensource guys are consist of hackers.
One more reason I disagree with censorship on the internet traffic is about privacy. Once the government have rights to implement the censorship, they might took granted and started to implement the monitoring of the internet traffics. Some people might think that it is good for the government to monitor the internet traffics coz able to catch those hackers, terrorist or some other criminals. It is actually correct to think this way. But on the other way, if the internet traffic monitoring crew is greedy and wanted to misuse the power(always happen in Malaysia), they will be able to use the information to gain benefit for them self and caused you loses.
Example, if you do online banking, the information is logged in the ISP traffic monitoring system. The monitoring crew just need to read the log and then they will be able to login to you account and transfer away your money in just a few minutes. The lost of money in the account can be consider small issue. If you emailed some classified information regarding those important projects which cost millions or billions. If the information was obtained by these monitoring crews, they can sell it to your rivals and cause you losing your business.
I am sure some of you might say “Use encryption lar! Just update the Internet Explorer encryption pack to upgrade from 56bit to 128bit for encrypt the data when do online transaction lar!”
But how secure is this encryption? I can say, it does nothing at all. These encryption is totally useless if your internet traffic is monitored. If these monitoring crews want, they can just decrypt it with just a few mouse click, then everything will be reveal.
Some people might say that I am thinking too much, since it is not yet happened and there is no such thing right? But the truth is, this type of thing is already exist and already implemented in some company’s network. If an ISP want, they just need to implement it on their internet service after they get order from the government. Internet traffic monitoring is nothing new, so you should concern about this!
Before this, there was some web hosting servers blocked before due to some website which is hosting some phishing sites are hosted on the hosting servers. What the ISP should do is just need to inform the web hosting company to remove/suspend these sites. But instead of spending more time to contact the hosting company to remove these sites, the ISP just blocked the server’s IP and caused a lot of other websites unable to access.
Some of those websites that hosted in that hosting server is those company’s business websites. When these people who have their sites hosted on the hosting server complained, and already make sure that it is the ISP who blocked their IP, the ISP just said, “Maybe is your web hosting company server down. We never blocked any IP in our internet service at all.“. If it is really the web hosting server is down, why it is able to be access via oversea proxy?
After the ISP received a lots of complaint, then they finally willing to check if are them self blocked the server IP. And finally, the unblocked it when they find out that they really did that. Why the hell they waste so much of people’s time just because of they wanted to save a little bit time to contact the web hosting company? Although they sent an email to apologize to those people whose their website has blocked, but the damage had already been done, loses had already unrecoverable.
From all the incident above, I am really frustrated with our freedom of access the internet. Even china also block those sites that they really confirm have threats to their government! But can understand why, because they are a communism country, nothing much to argue about. But for a democratic country like Malaysia, it is totally unacceptable. When the citizen asked, they just answered with some ridiculous answer which it is not logic at all. So how do they expect us to trust them on ruling the country well?
This is why I said, we Merdeka ar? Looks more like “Mereka Cerita” to cover their own mistakes more lar!
Note: If you do read properly, I did not mention which ISP is the one who block servers IP mistakenly. This is to avoid effecting the reputation of that ISP via this article.