Telcos block nearly two billion suspicious calls

Effective strategies: Fahmi visiting a booth during the conference at Furama Resort Danang. Also present is Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa (left), secretary-general of the Communications and Digital Ministry. — Bernama

DA NANG: Almost two billion suspicious calls and 581 million suspicious SMS messages were blocked from reaching Malaysian consumers with the assistance of telco service providers, says Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

He said that from 2020 to April 2023, his ministry also received 8,499 public complaints related to fraudulent activities and, within the same period, blocked 3,370 phishing sites.

“Malaysia is managing misinformation, especially from the new media, by focusing on the 2Ps: prevention and protection.

“We are heavily invested in educating and empowering the public with online knowledge and tools to protect themselves,” he said in his remarks at the 16th Conference of Asean Ministers Responsible for Information (Amri) plenary session held after the opening ceremony yesterday.

Fahmi is leading the Malaysian delegation to the 16th Amri at Furama Resort Danang, which officially started yesterday.

To tackle misinformation, disinformation and fake news, Fahmi said Malaysia has set up a task force consisting of various agencies, including the police, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and the Attorney General’s Chambers, to establish inter-agency coordination to manage unverified news on new media.

He said this is in response to Amri’s Working Group on Information, Media and Training which has established the Task Force on Fake News (TFFN) to look specifically at the role of media and information, share best practices, and even come up with shared initiatives in the Asean region on combating fake news.

“Malaysia has also set up and MyCheck Malaysia, which are fact-checking websites that enable the Malaysian public to cross-reference information and report false information,” he added.

The minister said it is critical to ensure that the information disseminated to the masses is reliable and correct, as this (misinformation) can spell disaster for individuals, communities and nations. — Bernama

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