Saturday, October 21, 2017

Why is the MCMC quick to the draw when the Prime Minister is ‘insulted’ on Facebook, but completely silent when tens of millions of private, and possibly confidential data have been stolen? reported on Thursday alledged that stolen personal data belonging to millions of Malaysia were up for sale publicly. However, instead of coming out with an investigation into the matter, the regulator MCMC demanded that remove its report.

The the now ‘deleted’ report exposed that the data includes personal data sourced from various telecommunication providers, medical associations and housing loan providers. The data being sold was reportedly stolen between 2012 and 2015.   This data could include citizens’ private bank details, mobile phone numbers, addresses and emails. Clearly, the magnitude of this sale of Malaysians’ private data should be a cause for concern as it concerns.

Why is the first move by the authorities at MCMC to block the report?  Why is it that after 2 days, MCMC has yet to make any comment on the issue?  Is it because the public sale of stolen personal data also exposed how MCMC is utterly toothless in enforcing the Personal Data Protect Act passed in Parliament in 2010?

Or is the MCMC protecting all the 'big' players in the market from telecommunication companies to banks to government agencies from being charged for breaking the law, by failing to take adequate measures to protect the privacy of their customers' data?

The complete silence by MCMC contrasts against the series of lightning quick and harsh actions taken against individuals who were merely expressing their anger and frustration at the state of affairs in this country by hurling insults at the Prime Minister or the Government on Facebook or Twitter.

Many of these individuals have been investigated and charged under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or jail of not more than a year or both, if convicted.  In addition, MCMC wasted no time blocking access to multiple blogs and websites which have exposed scandals of the Prime Minister, such as Sarawak Report and The Malaysian Insider, whereby most, if not all, of the allegations have proven true

It would appear that MCMC treats itself as a political watch dog for Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional, instead of playing its role to protect the interest of ordinary Malaysians.

MCMC and the Ministry of Information and Communications need to provide Malaysians with an assurance that our private data online is being protected and breaches are investigated thoroughly. Perhaps, instead of political policing, it is time they focused on policing cyber threats and protecting Malaysians’ privacy.

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