A report in this morning's Star 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.
But we have a couple of champions: opposition MP Lim Kit Siang, pointed out the vast benefits of blogging and Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad (the only UMNO MP to have a presence in the blogosphere, as far as I know) said bloggers were very aware of their own ethics and responsibility for content on their sites.
Which I believe too. And I think I've hung around online a lot more than most politicians. The internet polices itself. You say something fallacious, daft or defamatory and you get descended on faster than a mouse click by the other fellas wanting to put you right. I'm not even able to get away with a misspelling!
I'm not a political animal and generally can't even be bothered to read parts of the newspaper which aren't book pages or the funnies, but I am concerned about freedom of speech which is a basic human right whether the words are printed on pages in a book, or on our computer screens.
The authorities clearly need to decide whether Malaysia is in the Information Age or not. So far they've done very well. But forcing bloggers register is a retrogressive, knee-jerk reaction ... and to what, exactly? (I really would like to know and at the moment I'm afraid I don't. Not from the newspapers anyway.)
And as for the technicalities of registering bloggers here - how many bloggers have .my at the end of their addresses? And I reckon most bloggers host their words overseas anyway! (And more will probably join them now.)
Before I lose my rag entirely, it's timely to point you in the direction of this essay by Hari Kunzru about why dissidents must be protected from internet censorship. It's mostly about China, but many of the points made are relevant universally.
Meanwhile Tunku Halim is proposing a different form of protest: a collection of blog articles called Bloggers are Liars! He wants YOUR entries!
Readers' reactions to this report, from the Star. The people have spoken!
Rocky reports on the setting up of the National Alliance of Bloggers.
The Visitor sent me a very interesting article which addressed the question "Can bloggers be considered journalists?"