The Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) will be holding a discussion with messaging service Telegram, its minister Fahmi Fadzil revealed yesterday during a People’s Townhall programme organised by Sinar Harian. He said that the meet will look into addressing issues surrounding the platform’s application, especially regarding user security.
“Telegram is seen to be problematic, with all sorts of information posted there and many scammer activities [reported],” he said. “But at the same time we know it is an important channel for conveying information to the public, for example by [the] NSC (National Security Council).”
Fahmi noted that apart from scams, other potential risks that could be spread through Telegram if left unchecked includes pornography and extremism. He believes that this matter should be viewed seriously and hopes the platform would cooperate with the ministry and authorities to take appropriate action under existing laws, as had been done by other services providers prior to this. KKD has already reached out to Telegram and are currently waiting for their feedback, he added.
The minister also stressed there have been several cases of identity theft using the platform to target prominent people. One of which, he pointed out, is former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, whose personal Telegram account was hacked back in August of last year.
“If even our former prime minister could fall victim to scammers on Telegram, what more ordinary people?” he said. “So, I view this as a pressing issue and will tackle it urgently.”
Kami difahamkan akses ke akaun YAB telah dipulihkan. Untuk keselamatan, adalah mustahak agar tidak memberi kod log masuk Telegram kepada sesiapapun. Kami juga syorkan kepada pengguna kami untuk setkan kata laluan tambahan: Aturan – Privasi dan Sekuriti – Verifikasi Dua Langkah.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) August 9, 2022
In a separate statement made yesterday, Fahmi revealed a regulation or guideline to ensure the security of social media applications and devices used by civil servants is also being studied. He explained that the use of social media applications such as Tiktok and Facebook in government offices could indirectly reveal crucial or sensitive information to the public.
For this, he has tasked Cyber Security Malaysia (CSM) to scrutinise several aspects relating to security issues for the use of these applications at all government establishments and agencies to avoid any violation of the Official Secret Act. In addition, Fahmi said his ministry will study the basis, as well as decisions made, to ensure that security aspects can be easily understood and adopted in the Malaysian context, or at least provide suitable options.
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