‘We cannot regulate online content’


Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO and TARRENCE TAN

REGULATING content on online streaming platforms such as Netflix remains a challenge to the authorities because the current legislation can only regulate companies that are registered in Malaysia, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

He said the challenges to regulate streaming platforms wasn’t unique to Malaysia alone, as many countries were also facing issues in controlling what over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms could show their viewers.

“Our laws are only for companies that are registered in our country. For global Internet services, we still do not have a mechanism.

“If we feel there is something that we cannot broadcast in the country, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will discuss with them and make an application.

“That’s all we can do, because... we cannot deal with services overseas,” he told Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PN-Dungun), who interjected and asked whether the ministry intended to reduce the amount of streaming services available in Malaysia.

Earlier Wan Hassan asked about steps taken to curb contents that are sexual in nature and have elements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) content that are broadcast on streaming platforms such as Netflix.

Annuar said Netflix was an OTT streaming service and its headquarters was overseas, and noted that the same operating model was practised by most international online streaming companies.

While many other countries were also facing their own challenges in regulating content by online streaming platforms, he added Netflix had its own “parental safety system” that ensured only appropriate content was watched by children.

“Aside from that, Netflix also has a parental control system and passwords are required for certain content to protect children from inappropriate films,” he said.

On another matter, Annuar said that 407 paedophile and child pornography websites had been blocked from the Internet.

He said the websites were blocked between 2015 and as of September this year through cooperation between MCMC, the police and Interpol.

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