Tuesday, October 3

MCMC blocks websites ‘to keep Internet users safe’


CYBERJAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked access to 2,407 websites this year to keep Internet users, especially children, safe online.

MCMC Network Security and Enforcement chief officer Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said the MCMC blocked 1,129 phishing sites, 1,113 obscene content sites, 90 offensive sites, 72 menacing sites and three false sites for violating the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

“What we did (blocking access) is for public interest and upholds their dignity.

“For example, blocking obscene websites is to protect children from pornography and online child abuse while phishing sites are blocked to protect the public from financial loss. These is preventive action by the MCMC,” he said at a media briefing here recently.

Zulkarnain said the MCMC, a statutory body that implements and promotes the national policy objective for the communications and multimedia sector, blocked all the websites based on applications from ministries and agencies such as the Health Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and the police.

He cited the partnership between MCMC and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to take block access to websites that offered fake umrah packages online to prevent more would-be pilgrims from falling victim to irresponsible tour agents.

Besides fake umrah packages, he said, websites on online gambling, non-certified drugs and cosmetics, advertising and sales were also blocked.

On fake or false news going viral on social media, Zulkarnain urged the public be more responsible and critical in verifying news.

“The public should play their role and co-regulate with other ministries, departments and agencies. Get an official reply from the related agencies rather than from unofficial groups and start spreading rumours and fake news that may cause chaos,” he said.

He also urged relevant agencies to actively counter false news that went viral on social media.  “It is important for us to clear the air on false and fake stories immediately. Do not wait for days to counter but do so immediately to avoid false stories going viral,” he said.

To keep children safe online, Zulkarnain said it was vital for parents to join hands in creating awareness to regulate Internet use among children.

“Each and every parent must also play his or her role in ensuring safe and positive use of the Internet.

“Therefore, MCMC joined six Internet Service Providers (ISP) to introduce Parental Control Tools. It will enable parents to monitor and filter Internet contents and also provide a layer of security for their children,” he said.

He said that about 113,000 took up the parental control application this year to restrict access to websites for their children as they were aware that there was a need to protect their children’s safety online.

“The Parental Control Tool is not about censorship but competitive advantage as it protects our children from negative elements,” he said. — Bernama