Late last month, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that Telegram was not willing to cooperate with the Malaysian government to address complaints related to scams on the platform, among other complaints. In light of this, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is considering taking “drastic action” against the platform. Which may simply mean banning the platform.
In interview with RTM, Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin, the chief compliance officer for the MCMC, said that this could be necessary to not only protect local users of the app, but also to safeguard national sovereignty. He highlights a previous statement to the media provided by Telegram, which says that the platform does not want to be a part of “any form of political censorship”. Zulkarnain claims that the cyber threat on the platform is a larger issue than that, and that the platform has to abide by local laws.
He highlights the key features of Telegram, which prides itself on providing users privacy and anonymity. And while this is good for users, he notes that this is also something that cybercriminals are taking advantage of. Zulkarnain also mentions that, unlike with other platforms, the MCMC does not have a direct communication channel with Telegram nor with its compliance or legal team. Instead, it relies on volunteers to assists with takedown requests.
In the same vein, he also notes that between the years of 2019 and 2020, Telegram was noted to be ranked at number 11 among platforms with cybercriminal activities. But in 2023, the platform is now in the top five. Making things worse is that bad actors can now automate their cyber attacks using bots on the platform. All in all though, while Zulkarnain mentions “drastic action” is being considered against Telegram, nothing is set in stone as of yet.
(Source: Berita RTM / YouTube)
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