KUALA LUMPUR: The communications ministry has been ordered to follow up and take action on a breach of personal data of 36 million mobile phone users that has been linked to a contract with an Umno-linked company.
The minister, Gobind Singh Deo, in a statement today, also called for action to investigate bot attacks against mobile phones that took place on polling day, as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s actions to block some online news media while election results were being called.
Gobind also said the Communications and Multimedia Act would be reviewed, and called for public proposals on amendments.
“I welcome suggestions from all concerned and I will be in touch with Mr Eric Paulsen from Lawyers for Liberty and the Bar Council for discussions in this process,” he said.
The data breach was reported in a posting at the popular chat site Lowyat.net in October last year, which said there had been an attempt to sell the mobile numbers, unique phone serial numbers, as well as home addresses and personal data from multiple Malaysian public sector and commercial websites.
A huge amount of private customer information had been taken from at least 12 Malaysian mobile operators.
The leak was said to have stemmed from a public cellular blocking service operated by a company linked to Umno personalities.
In 2014, former Bukit Bintang MP Wee Choo Keong raised questions about the contract for a personal cellular blocking system, issued to Nuemera Sdn Bhd in 2009.
In a series of blog articles, he questioned how a dormant company whose directors were related to an Umno minister had been issued the contract, which he said would result in estimated revenue of more than RM80 million a year collected from phone companies.
Following the news reports about the attempted sale of leaked data, the government ordered an investigation.