Constitution may see right to Internet access

By P PREM KUMAR / Graphic By TMR

The government will propose Malaysians’ right to Internet access to be included in the Federal Constitution, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

He said the right to Internet access will be proposed similar to other rights accorded for Malaysians under the law.

It is timely to incorporate the right to Internet access, as the Internet has become a basic necessity for Malaysians, Gobind told reporters after visiting the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp headquarters in Cyberjaya yesterday.

Gobind said he will table the proposal to the Cabinet in the medium term, with the final outcome pending parliamentary approval.

“In the Federal Constitution, we are given freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Soon, there will be right to Internet access.

“Every Malaysian will be given the right to access the Internet,” he said, adding that the proposal is expected to undergo a vigorous consultation process that includes lawmakers from both ruling and Opposition parties.

Meanwhile, Gobind has given the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) a week from now to give a detailed report on the consumer data breach reported recently.

He said meetings have been held with MCMC, with the commission being given a week to come up with recommendations on combating data breach cases.

“We view data breach cases seriously. We don’t take this lightly, thus MCMC has been asked to work on it immediately and report to me in a week,” he said.

Gobind noted that MCMC is currently equipped with enough expertise to enable it to tackle the growing concern.

“It is equipped with the needed expertise. But some of the cases are involving external parties which would take some time and other necessary expertise,” he said.

Last week, technology portal Lowyat.net reported that the personal data of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd customers have been offered for sale online.

The data was being sold for RM4,500 for 10,000 records, or RM0.45 per record.

The seller was offering 60,000 Astro IPTV (Internet protocol television) customer details, including their name, installation address, identity card number, mobile phone number, equipment and portal ID numbers, as well as subscribed package information.

A portal under the Education Ministry, introduced in July 2011 to centralise examination results from all states, was also compromised with a data breach attack.

It was alleged that the site contains some 4.9 million student details, along with their parents’ MyKad numbers, which could be compromised and misused.

In October 2017, the personal details of some 46.2 million mobile number subscribers in Malaysia were leaked online in what is believed to be one of the largest data breach ever seen in the country.