Action against Telegram being considered, says MCMC regulatory head

  • Nation
  • Monday, 05 Jun 2023

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is considering action against Telegram due to the cybercrime cases involving the messaging platform.

MCMC chief regulatory officer Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said Telegram had risen to be one of the top five platforms with the most cybercrime activities, compared to being in the top 11 between 2019 and 2020.

ALSO READ: Govt to ensure action against Telegram won’t affect users too much, says Fahmi

“There must be drastic measures to protect its users. We have laws that must be followed. For Telegram, there are no specific channels or officials that we can follow up with on cases to proceed to the next course of action,” said Zulkarnain.

He added that Telegram is popular because it offers a high level of security for users as well as anonymity and secure end-to-end encryption which allows for the sharing of a large amount of data in the cloud.

Zulkarnain said this in a “Selamat Pagi Malaysia” segment titled 'Telegram application: Challenge to Users’ Security’ aired on Monday (June 5).

He added that joining Telegram is easier for cybercriminals as it does not need to register or produce credentials to be approved on the platform or be invited to join chat groups, and there is no administrator who controls the platform.

ALSO READ: Telegram to face action if it continues to ignore call to meet, says Fahmi

“This situation makes Telegram the platform of choice for cybercriminals to switch from the 'dark web' to the mainstream online platforms to target more victims,” he said.

Recently, Telegram was invited to discuss the nation’s growing number of cybercrimes with the Communications and Digital Ministry.

In May, the Dubai-based company responded that it has adequate measures to tackle abuse of its application against scammers and the spread of pornography.

In its statement, Telegram also said it does not partake in political censorship.

Communication and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil then said on June 3 that the government will ensure any form of action that may be imposed on Telegram will have a minimal impact on its users.

Fahmi highlighted that the application has been widely used by certain groups such as schools and media practitioners for video and image sharing.

He said that the MCMC is still examining the action against Telegram, whose management has not yet cooperated with the government to discuss issues related to the content and misuse of the application.

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