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Stakeholders hail proposed cybersecurity law

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This article first appeared on The Star. Image above sourced from The Star.


PETALING JAYA: The proposed tabling of a Cybersecurity Bill is timely to deal with not only the existing cyber crimes, but to prepare for the threat of emerging ones.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the proposed Bill would cover serious cyber crimes perpetuated by extremist groups.

“We can see what is happening around the world today and it is not something new as there are countries which already have similar laws in place.

“Preventive laws would help us deal with threats posed by extremist groups that rely on the Internet to recruit members and do online transactions,” said Dr Salleh, who is part of the National Security Council (NSC).

The NSC, via the National Cyber Security Agency, is managing the proposed Bill which is expected to be tabled in the next Parliament sitting in July.

On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a draft of the new Bill had been handed over to the Attorney-General.

Details on the Bill are scant, but Dr Ahmad Zahid said it would allow the authorities to stop recruitment drives or funding for extremist groups as well as money laundering and other forms of cybercrime, including online gambling.

Cybersecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said he was in full support of the proposed Bill.

“Any cybersecurity law meant to protect our national security from cyber threats is for sure a good move, and we will continue to give technical support to all agencies across all sectors,” he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist Dr P. Sundramoorthy hoped the Bill would address all aspects from mischief to terrorism.

“Studies have indicated that only one of every seven cybercrimes is reported, so the resulting statistics may not depict a clear picture of the type of cybercrimes that are trending.

“There should also be a focus on the analytical and technical abilities of officers who need to implement the provisions of the Bill if it becomes an Act,” he said.

Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the new Bill would help stem the surge in cybercrimes in recent years.

“Statistics show a total of 2,428 cyber crime incidences were reported between January and April this year. Fraud cases detected in cyberspace have also increased 20% last year compared to 2015,” he said.

On top of strengthening the legal framework, Lee said the Government should also increase cooperation with regional and global enforcement agencies to combat cybercrimes.

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