Archive for the ‘Cyber Law Issues’ category

Signs of change!

July 9, 2010

Here I’m going to share some information on e-contract and its principles with you. 

With the coming of the Internet and the introduction of e-commerce to business the demand for online contracts has risen tremendously. However, setting contracts has been  traditionally on paper and to show agreement, parties place their signatures on the doted line. These agreements are legally binding between both parties and enforceable in a court of law.

But what about when it comes to an online contract?

The UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) has adopted the E-commerce Model law on  12 Jun 1996. The aim was to provide adequate legal protection for those who wish to engage in e-commerce by ensuring that e-contracts are legally recognized by law and courts. Moreover, it established trust among parties in e-commerce and removed any obstacles in its way.

 In 2006, Malaysian parliament passed the Electronic Commerce Act (ECA) 2006 that provided for legal recognition of electronic messages in commercial transactions and for the use of e-messages to fulfill legal requirements. It also enabled and facilitated commercial transactions through the use of electronic means. They adopted the following model law of e-commerce drafted by UNCITRAL. 

This Model Law operates on principles: Equivalence, Autonomy of Contracts, Voluntary Use, Primacy of other Requirements, Substantive Elements of Contracts still Applies and Primacy of Consumer Protection Laws.

  

What’s your take on it?       

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!

July 5, 2010

 Have you ever taken part in an auction on eBay?

What I’m going to blog today is all about cheating on online auctions and actually is about a guy who became the first person in the UK being prosecuted over an online auction. According to BBC News, he used two separate eBay accounts to bid against himself.

The investigation started when a compliant took place stating that Paul Barrett, boss of a mini-bus firm, had falsely advertised and sold one of his vehicles on eBay. The North Yorkshire Trading Standards officer after tracking him found that  he was selling goods on the auction website under the username “shanconpaul”, while bidding on them under the identity “paulthebusman”.   

However after he was caught he admitted to breaching the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which were introduced in the UK two years ago in a bid to tackle growing internet fraud, after an EU directive to increase consumer protection. 

However, shill bidding is not easy to be proved or to be detected and also it’s hard to quantify the victim’s loss.

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from BBC News

Watch what you say!

July 4, 2010

I was reading about the Internet Content Regulation and Speech Law earlier today and I thought it would be good to blog it. What I’m going to focus on here is about Hate Speech. As a medium the Internet has been used for exchanging and sharing information, ideas and knowledge. Although the freedom of speech law has given everybody the right to express themselves without interference, it has not given an absolute liberty.

Whatever you express about your thought or opinion, you need to be careful to not violate rights and freedom of others and respect them morally and lawfully. Hate speech against race and religion comes under the principal category of the Internet content regulation which is one of the initiative consideration for censorship by governments. All censoring, controlling or attempting to control are based on subject matter. Along these lines government approaches are using penalties (fines or imprisonment), banning the access to unsuitable contents, prohibition of public access and encouraging self-regulation and end-user voluntary use of filtering techniques.

France has been recently focused on enforcing French laws forbidding race hate material. In this regard, a French court ruled that Yahoo! Inc must make the accessibility to auctioning race hate memorabilia, especially those were related to anti-Jewish expression impossible in May 2000. 

In November 2001, a U.S. District Court in defence of Yahoo! and U.S. Amendment ruled that there is no need for Yahoo! to comply with French court’s order in regard to block the access to U.S. websites which were Nazi-related contents. This was because French sites complied with France’s laws prohibiting advertising Nazi memorabilia. However, the U.S. court ruled that the American companies are immune to being regulated by authorities in countries with more restriction on freedom of expression.      

Well, on the Internet speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye! and the negative effects of such speech are harmful.                        

What’s your take on it?

 

WICS 2010

June 29, 2010

 Recently, there was a two-day World Information and Communication Summit (WCIS) 2010 in South Korea where leaders of the Digital world shared a voice on the theme ‘Expanding Digital Economy and Culture’. Malaysia  was one of 15 countries that attended the WCIS. World Information and Communications Summit (WICS) has come a long way since 2005 when it first gathered ICT ministers and vice ministers under the name, World ICT Summit. Having been once called as IT Ministerial Conference in 2007, WICS has continuously carried on its purpose to create a better information society by collaborating and sharing each country’s experience and visions in ICT. 

 Information, Communication and Culture Minister, Dr Rais, who was the Malaysian representative in the conference, said cyber security was one of the topics which Malaysia touched on at the conference. He added that Malaysia did not enforce prohibitions on or censor the internet but there were rations in cyber laws such as the Communication and Multimedia Act governing individuals who committed cyber crimes.

World Information and Communications Summit is probably significant in terms of collaboration of ICT representatives from around the globe to share their experiences and strategies to analyze success and failure cases. The interesting point is WICS suggested that the nations as a whole  set a digital culture right and through a great partnership and collaborations, make the global economy stronger. I hope this will lead to higher cyber security world-wide that Malaysia can also benefit from.

What’s your take on it?

What has the world come to?!!

June 20, 2010

There was a time that I used to think that criminals were totally different in appearance from other people but now I realized they don’t have to look like monsters, they maybe the neighbor you say hello to in the morning. The friendly bus driver you smile at or the green grocer you chat with when you go shopping. But never did I think that the person we think is sworn to protect us and is willing to give their life for our freedom would turn out to be the most dangerous of all criminals.

A 42-year-old lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army was arrested by the cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai police on Thursday for allegedly posting obscene pictures of children on an international web site. The investigation started in Germany when German police tracked an IP address to India which horrific pictures of child pornography were being uploaded from. Then they alerted Interpol, which through CBI, forwarded the issue to the Mumbai police.

He was caught red-handed, while downloading porn clippings. “Even as we questioned him at his home for four and a half hours, the downloading continued. We have also taken printouts of the pictures so that we can use it as evidence in court,” said an officer. The Mumbai police confiscated hard disks, mobile phones, print outs, etc from the government flat of the Army officer and booked him under the Information Technology Act 2000.

Well, what can I say?! 

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from The Times Of India

I’ve got my eye on you!

May 3, 2010

 If you look up the term “Big Brother” in the lexicon you’ll notice that it is the synonym for abuse of government power, particularly in respective to civil liberties. The novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in 1949 by Eric Arthur Blair better known by his pen name George Orwell, in which he describes how everybody is constantly being watched by Big Brother.

In his classic novel, Orwell uses the  anonymous and unrecognizable shadowy figure that was placed on posters and put all over the place with the saying, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.” This was used to let the people know that no matter where they go they could not escape the watching eyes of the controlling government. 

How true are those words now. We are living in an age where google can pinpoint exactly where you are in a split second, where everywhere you go you’ll notice a surveillance camera and where  access to all of your personal data is possible in a blink of an eye. Seems the Orwellian society is now all around us!

So have we ever really given any thought to this? The fact that we are always being watched, or the fact that the governments and corporations know so much about our private life? Why is this not of concern to most people and why is it necessary? 

 

 

How much is too much?

May 2, 2010

I remember once in our cyberlaw class our teacher started a debate on employee privacy by asking a question, “Do your employers have the right to monitor your activities in the workplace?” We all had different opinions but like it or not, nowadays employers are monitoring their employees more than ever. They may spy on their employees in ways like computer keystrokes and files, Internet and email usage, Locations and activities, phone conversations and numbers dialed and job performance. It is somewhat of a controversial subject.

As an employer, you are in the position of monitoring everything that goes on in the workplace. Because you don’t want to pay high costs associated with losses caused by employee theft, vandalism and lawsuits. Safety warrants your monitoring! But do you practice what you preach?

I mean, sometimes there is a diversity between what companies say and what they do. There is  serious tension here, between the concept of monitoring and the idea of privacy. How far are you going to go? What I’m trying to say is that employers should have clear policies on what activities they monitor. They should specify their expectations of employees related to the stated policies.

On the other hand, trust and values as an employee are important when it comes to performing the job effectively. When we accept a position, this means we’ve already accepted the company’s policies. Everything that has been provided in our workplace is the company’s property. So, what makes us think that we have the right to use them as personal property? How could we lose our perspective on the meaning of the workplace as a place for work?

Here is the thought, if we are using the company’s Internet and computer for personal activities, it is obvious that we are decreasing our productivity. No matter of what we do, it will affect our performance in a major way. And also anytime one goes on the Internet, in most instances, there is a chance that his/her firewall or security program could be breached. Just imagine the computer being used has highly classified information about the company, its resources and its employees. What a disaster for the company and the employees as well!

In my point of view, whether you are an employee or employer, you must have reasonable expectations of privacy and a better definition of  its scop in regards to better cooperation and mutual respect.