February 11, 2016
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), an independent non-governmental institution committed to promoting and defending freedom of expression is writing to express concern over the blocking of blogging platform Medium in Malaysia apparently in an effort to censor an investigative news outlet critical of the government.
According to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Sarawak report has mirrored its articles on Medium at least since its own site was blocked in mid-2015 when it published allegations of corruption.
Medium’s legal team has done an admirable job keeping the relevant post online in the face of government demands. It published an account saying the company “stands by investigative journalists” and that the post will stay up until it “receive(s) an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.”
But this story also demonstrates the censorship– resistant properties of online encryption like HTTPS, which Medium has enabled across its entire site. That’s because HTTPS conceals information both about what particular page readers are viewing as well as the contents of that page from people snooping on their connection. That’s important; because unencrypted connections are face wide range of eavesdroppers.
Medium and the Sarawak Report has made a good choice in using infrastructure that is harder for would-be censors to subvert.
PPF urges your government to take remedial measures in order to protect press freedom, reader privacy and check censorship in Malaysia.
I thank you for your attention and will welcome your comments.
Owais Aslam Ali
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)