MADPET is for the Abolition of Death Penalty, an end of torture and abuse of rights by the police, an end to death in custody, an end to police shoot to kill incidents, for greater safeguards to ensure a fair trial, for a right to one phone call and immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, for the repeal of all laws that allow for detention without trial and an immediate release of all those who are under such draconian laws.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
RESPECT PRIVACY AND NO TO MONITORING OF INTERNET USAGE/ACTIVITY IN MALAYSIA -Article 12 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be respected-
Media Statement –
RESPECT PRIVACY AND NO TO MONITORING OF INTERNET USAGE/ACTIVITY IN
-Article 12 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be
We, the undersigned organisations
and groups, are most concern that the fact that all in Malaysians maybe under
constant internet surveillance, which would be an invasion of the right to
privacy, all on the basis of action by the government to curb child
It was reported that the Malaysian
police, being ‘….the Bukit Aman's Sexual, Women and Child Investigation
Division (D11) principal assistant director Ong Chin Lan said the new Malaysia
Internet Crime Against Children Investigation Unit (MICAC) will build a
"data library" of pornography users and their surfing preferences….
“We will pick up those who visit these sites regularly. We use software that
was specially developed to allow us to identify, locate and track visits to
porn sites, especially those involving child porn. “The intelligence we get
will be passed on to the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), so we
can obtain the internet users’ details," she said, adding that those being
monitored could be called in for questioning or even arrested from their homes….
Internet users who view pornography from the "relative safety" of
their mobile phones will not be spared from scrutiny under this system. (Malaysiakini,
RIGHT TO PRIVACY A
Whilst we are against child
pornography, we are opposed to any on-going monitoring of internet activity/usage
of all in Malaysia, which is an invasion of personal privacy.
Article 12 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights states that, ‘No
one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home
or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone
has the right to the protection of the
law against such interference or attacks. ‘
Such monitoring also would mean
that all other activity on the internet of persons could also very easily be
monitored including personal communications, visits to websites, sharing of
information and even private documents. This could also include privilege
communications between a lawyer and a client.
EVEN IN INVESTIGATIONS, COURT ORDERS NEEDED TO SEARCH AND GET EVIDENCE
It must be pointed out that in
criminal procedure, the arrest and/or investigation of a suspect does not automatically allow even the search
of premises, computers, etc without a required search warrant save for very
exceptional situations. These warrants are usually issued by a Magistrate or a Judge,
on application by the police and/or enforcement officers.
Likewise, for example under the Deoxyribonucleic
Acid (DNA) Identification Act 2009, the police and enforcement authorities
cannot even take intimate samples like blood, urine, semen and other tissue or
fluid from a person’s body samples without the written consent of the person
from whom the samples is/are to be taken
from. For even non-intimate samples, like saliva, hair and a sample taken from
a nail, the person from which the sample is to be taken has the right to object
hence requiring the obligation to obtain a court order.
As such, the idea of ‘secretive’ arbitrarily
on-going monitoring of internet activity/usage of any or all persons, for
whatever reasons, must be deplored and opposed.
RIGHT TO SEEK, RECEIVE AND IMPART INFORMATION AND IDEAS THROUGH ANY MEDIA
It is common knowledge that in
Malaysia, the government have in the past denied people access to many online news
sites and/or websites with opinions and news possibly critical to the past
administration(and/or their interest) like even the Wall Street Journal,
Malaysian Insider and Sarawak Report, thus depriving those in Malaysia access
to alternative views and news that may be relevant to Malaysians.
As such, the blocking of access to
websites is best not to be done simply vide arbitrary administrative decisions
and/or actions, but must require a court order. Website owners and/or persons
affected should preferably be also given the right to be heard before the
granting of such court orders, or at worst the ability to challenge and set
aside such orders.
It was also recently reported that
the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)’s network security, new
media monitoring, compliance and advocacy sector Chief Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul
Malek as saying that the commission had blocked 3,781 pornographic websites
from 2014 until the end of March. One wonders as to what other websites have
Further, a listing of all such
websites should be gazetted and made public, possibly also with brief reasons as
to why such actions were taken. The right to challenge or judicially review the
orders to block access to any websites should be available not just to owners,
but also to users.
The right to privacy is sacrosanct and
must always be respected, and as such the on-going ‘spying’ of internet usage
cannot be tolerated.
Police investigations of suspects
of a crime, may warrant the perusal of one’s computers and/or smartphone
usage/records, but that too should be only after a relevant court order is
applied for and obtained.
Therefore, we the undersigned organisations and group, calls
for the immediate halt on all on-going ‘spying’ of internet usage and online activities
by the police and/or the government including
Malaysia Internet Crime Against Children Investigation Unit (MICAC), allegedly to
detect, locate and record data of traffic for online pornography.
Whatsoever "data library"
of pornography users and their surfing preferences and/or any other such data that
now exist, as developed by MICAC and/or any other government agencies, must immediately be erased, and must never be
used for whatever reason against any person/s.
The government must respect and
protect a person’s right to privacy, this including one’s personal internet/online
usage and communications. Any such invasion or interference of privacy must never
be permitted or tolerated for whatsoever reason, more so such arbitrary ‘spying’
and keeping records of internet activity of all persons – not simply just a few
Likewise, the right to information
and other views online should also not be arbitrarily denied or suppressed by
the government. Article 19 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that, ‘Everyone has the
right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through
any media and regardless of frontiers.’ , clearly includes right to seek
and receive information and ideas online from also websites/internet from all
over the world.
For and on behalf of the 13 groups/organisations
Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Physicians for Social Responsibility (MPSR)
Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Malaysia
Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), India
Anti Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC)
Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha(MASUM), India