Monthly Archives: July 2021

Microsoft’s data centre region project needs data security laws

I was asked by The Malaysian Reserve to comment on MICROSOFT Corp’s US$1 billion (RM4 billion) investment to establish its first data centre region in Malaysia, particularly on the data security laws aspect. I said-

Bar Council’s Information Technology and Cyber Laws Committee deputy chairman Foong Cheng Leong said new regulations should be introduced to protect such data centres once they are opened to the general public.

For example, he said the government could set up regulations against the seizure of equipment or surrendering of data to authorities, as well as laws to protect against intermediary liabilities.

Additionally, he said the data centre region would promote further data localisation, particularly for the government to improve data safety and protection.

“It may also be useful for the government to direct its agencies to store their data in such local data centres. Many data these days are held overseas and we do not know where they are stored.

“A data localisation requirement would be useful in helping Malaysians protect their personal data,” Foong told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.

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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