Phone tapping is the issue, not PKR-Umno pact, says Zaid

I was asked by Free Malaysia Today to add in to the alleged leaked voice recording of political parties leaders, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim. It was reported that the voice recording was of the two presidents but the source of the leakage is unknown. Zahid Hamidi has claimed that the recording is fake.

Privacy lawyer Foong Cheng Leong told FMT that the power to intercept communications was normally only exercised in cases involving serious offences such as terrorism or organised crime.

He added that phone tapping can only be carried out with permission. For example, interceptions for cases under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 must be authorised by the public prosecutor.

On several claims that the government was behind the purported leaked audio recording, Foong said that no one knew for sure if the authorities had tapped the conversation.

“There could also be a possibility that the phones were compromised by the installation of certain mobile applications,” he said, referring to phone hackers.

If this were true, Foong said, there may be an offence committed under the Computer Crimes Act 1997, adding that there could be a cause of action for invasion of privacy or trespassing, among others.

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