Monthly Archives: June 2013

Big NO to more social media control

I was quoted by The Star in their article “Big NO to more social media control” on 14 June 2013.

My opinion on the privacy is based on a South Korean case which held that a law requiring South Koreans to use their real names on Internet forums was unconstitutional.

Big NO to more social media control

PETALING JAYA: Internet users and even government regulators have responded with a resounding “No” to additional restrictions on social media, saying current laws are sufficient.

The Malaysian Communications and Multi­media Commission chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi said the bigger issue is about educating Internet users to self-regulate.

“I’m not for putting in more laws. I’m for putting control in their own hands and exercising self-control,” he said when contacted.

If people are responsible enough not to post irresponsible messages on the Internet, there should not be anything to worry about, he added.

“This is what MCMC has been advocating for a long time.

“Parents have to take care of what their children are reading on the Internet and people also have to know for themselves what is right and wrong,” he said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asked the public to suggest the type of “positive regulation”.

“I want to open this to the public and social media users to suggest the type of positive control that we need to implement to ensure responsible usage and that the information presented is not against any law,” he said at the Malaysian MPI-Petronas Media Awards 2012.

He also said that the Government will not be implementing restrictions on online news portals similar to those in Singapore, where popular ones have to be licensed.

Technology and IT patent lawyer Foong Cheng Leong said that the current laws were enough.

“Any further attempt to make anonymous bloggers or social media users reveal their true identities will be unconstitutional,” he said.

Citing a Federal Court ruling, he said the Constitution which provides for the right to personal liberty also includes the right to privacy.

He added that bloggers and Internet users found to be committing illegal acts can always be charged under existing laws.

At present, conduct on the Internet is governed by the Penal Code, the Multimedia and Communications Act, Sedition Act and Defamation Act among others.

Foong added that technology alone enables the Government and the authorities to trace anonymous website owners and users.

“If the Malaysian Government has a good relationship with countries where social media sites operate from, the users are easily traceable,” he said.

Popular blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan who owns the blog also echoed the view that it would be impractical for more regulations.

“We should tell people that it’s fine that they have the freedom of expression, but there are limits to what we can do and say,” he said.

At the same time, he said that he had always expressed the view that bloggers should not be anonymous and that they should be accountable for what they write.

Bread & Kaya: Using Facebook’s marks for your business

Using Facebook’s marks for your business
Foong Cheng Leong
May 28, 2013

– To use a trademark (like a logo) legally, one must seek permission from the proprietor of the trademark
– You can use Facebook’s trademarks without asking for express permission provided you satisfy its brand guidelines

Bread & Kaya by Foong Cheng Leong

UNKNOWN to many people, using someone’s trademark, in particular a logo, can potentially amount to trademark infringement, passing off, and copyright infringement. To use it legally, one must seek permission from the proprietor of the trademark.

History has indicated that most brand owners jealously guard their trademarks from being used even if the use would benefit them in a way.

But for Facebook, you can use its trademarks without asking for express permission provided that you satisfy its brand guidelines.

In April 2013, Facebook updated its Facebook Brand Resources page with a specific website, The website has specific guidelines about how to use its logos and screenshots in print, film, broadcast and online, and how to treat the social network’s brand.

The website sets out a list of Dos and Don’ts on the website. Under the Don’ts section, you cannot:

– Use the Facebook brand in a way that implies partnership, sponsorship or endorsement
– Combine any part of the Facebook brand with your name, marks or generic terms\
– Use trademarks, names, domain names, logos or other content that imitates or could be confused with Facebook
– Present Facebook in a way that makes it the most distinctive or prominent feature of what you’re creating
– Use any icons, images or trademarks to represent Facebook other than what is found on its resource centre
– Assert rights over the Facebook brand whether by trademark registration, domain name registration or anything else
– Feature Facebook on materials associated with pornography, illegal activities, or other materials that violate the Facebook Terms
– Modify Facebook brand assets in any way, such as by changing the design or colour
– Use Facebook’s trade marks on merchandise or other products such as clothing, hats or mugs. In certain circumstances you can use the ‟f” logo on product packaging, but you need to follow the guidelines of use.
There is also a FAQ for advertisers, developers, publishers, filmmakers or anyone who intends to use the company’s name, logos or images in their work.

The website sets out five types of Facebook logos and badges. Each logo or badge comes with general and specific rules. For example, you can use the ‘f’ logo to refer to you, only use the ‘f’ logo to refer to your presence on Facebook, such as your Page, timeline, group, app or event, but you cannot modify the ‘f’ logo in any way, such as by changing the design or colour.

If you wish to use it for film or broadcast, you must request permission and include, among others, the portion of the commercial, film, program or storyboard that references Facebook. For more information, visit

On the other hand, setting up a brand guideline to allow other people to use your mark is a form of passive advertising.

By allowing other people to use your brand, it is a form of a licence. Rules must be implemented to ensure that your brand is not used in a disparaged manner.

When writing your brand guideline, do consider the following:

– What are the brands being licensed?
– Are there any territorial restrictions? (E.g., can only be used in all countries except X countries.)
– What are the circumstances where you can terminate the license immediately?
– What are the restrictions that you impose on the use? (E.g., cannot use on your competing services/ goods, not on websites with adult, racist or hateful content).

Facebook is not the only social media networking site to allow you to use its marks. Twitter and LinkedIn also have their own brand guidelines to follow.

Do take a read on using other people’s marks or draft your own brand guidelines!

First published in Digital News Asia on 28 May 2013.

BFM Podcast: New Regulations for Online Shopping

Online cheating and internet scams are on the rise in Malaysia. In 2011, police figures showed a total of 1,879 online cheating cases, compared to 551 in 2009.

New regulations are being implemented in July 2013 to help protect shoppers from being cheated, and Sharmila Sekaran and Mr. Foong Cheng Leong from Loyarburok talk to Meera Sivasothy to explain how the new regulations work, and how to be more aware of the dangers of being cheated online.

Enforcement of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010

The Malaysian Reserve reported that no date has been set for the enforcement of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA). The newly appointed Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek stated that the PDPA will be enforced as soon as possible. However, he declined to be more specific as to the exact period or whether or not it will be enforced before the end of this year.

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