What is Cyber Law ?

Musbri Mohamed DIL; ADIL ( ITM ) MBL ( UKM )


The word cyberspace was first introduced into language by the science fiction writer, William Gibson in his 1984 novel, Neuromancer - Hilary E Pearson, 'Information in a Digital Age -- The Challenge to Copyright' The Computer Law and Security Report Vol 12 Issue 2 (1996) at p 90.


The first time that the word “cyber law” came into being in the local press in Malaysia was when the Government was planning the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) which was to be the centre of information and communication technology development in Malaysia.


Cyberspace allows its users to obliterate and declare obsolete physical space and time. Within the shadowy realm of cyberspace, time, distance and physical barriers are meaningless. Business dealings can occur across the globe in an instant without paper, pen or face-to-face contact. Banking transactions now almost wholly take place in cyberspace; the only 'real' money left is the stuffy in your pocket, and the use of such small change is continuing to decrease as we increasingly rely on credit cards and direct debits methods to pay our purchases. The word cyberspace in its most narrow formulation is a synonym for the internet. However, it actually encapsulates numerous terms-ofart, among others, the internet, the information superhighway and the Global Information Infrastructure (GII).


Malaysian Government came up with the 10 Bill of Guarantees vis-à-vis stated that the MSC will become a regional leader in cyber law and intellectual property protection. Subsequently after , Malaysia passed a comprehensive set of Acts of Parliament which can now be considered as Malaysia’s cyber law consists as follows :. Communication & Multimedia Act 1998 . Malaysian Communication & Multimedia Commission Act 1998 . Digital Signature Act 1997 . Computer Crimes Act 1997 . Telemedicine Act . Optical Disc Act . Copyright Act 1987 . Payment Systems Act 2003 . Electronic Commerce Act 2006


Electronic commerce is a growing section of the business world. Initially emerging from the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI); e-commerce has gone through several major steps to get to its current point. Through these steps there has been an emergence of several subsets of e-commerce and new technologies. As a result of these changes and the growth of electronic commerce benefits and detriments have been brought to society that can be generalized to all the subsets of e-commerce.


Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce. On the consumer level, electronic commerce is mostly conducted on the World Wide Web. An individual can go online to purchase anything from books or groceries, to expensive items like real estate. Another example would be online banking, i.e. online bill payments, buying stocks, transferring funds from one account to another, and initiating wire payment to another country. All of these activities can be done with a few strokes of the keyboard.


On the institutional level, big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce today. Therefore topics for Cyber Law can be divided as the following ;1. Digital signature, 2. Telemedicine, 3. Cyber crime, 4. Cyber evidence, 5. Data protection, 6. e-government AND 7. The principles and concepts of E-commerce; laws governing ecommerce and Credit Cards; legal aspects of Specific Electronic Fund Transfer Transactions, ATM Card, Smart Card, E-Purse and Credit Card.


What is a digital signature? A digital signature is an electronic means of authenticating an online identity A digital signature can: Authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or signer of a document-(Authentication of identity) Encrypt the message so that it can only be read by the intended recipient-(Confidentiality of info) Be used to ensure that the original content of the message is unchanged-(Integrity of message) The message can be attributable to the sender-( Non-repudiation) Be automatically time-stamped


Cyber Crimes and Cyber terrorism: “Is the Internet the new “Wild Wild West?” There can be no one exhaustive definition about Cyber crime. However, any activities which basically offend human sensibilities, can also be included in its ambit.


Data Protection relates to issues relating to the collection, storage, accuracy and use of data provided by net users in the use of the World Wide Web. Visitors to any website want their privacy rights to be respected when they engage in e-Commerce. It is part of the confidence-creating role that successful eCommerce businesses have to convey to the consumer. If industry doesn't make sure it's guarding the privacy of the data it collects, it will be the responsibility of the government and it's their obligation to enact legislation.


In view of the rampancy of the abuse of personal information in our countries (You may have been receiving many cold calls, scam emails, soliciting sms…etc) a comprehensive and up-to-date data protection act is most welcome, however, on another hand, such legislation must also take into account of commercial viability. Otherwise it may undermine the development of decent commercial transaction.


e-Government (short for electronic government , also known as e-gov, digital government, online government or transformational government) is a diffused neologism used to refer to the use of information and communication technology to provide and improve government services, transactions and interactions with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.


Electronic Commerce Act 2006 ( ECA 2006 ) The process of developing the Bill started in 1999 when the 8th meeting of the multimedia super corridor in full implementation council directed the then Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia (MECM) to conduct a study on the harmonisation of the existing laws with cyber laws and electronic application. Thereafter, the MECM formed a working group to formulate the terms of reference for the study. Messrs Zaid Ibrahim & Company was later appointed as the consultant to conduct the study. It was aimed at identifying laws that may hinder electronic transactions.


E-Commerce A most common definition of e-commerce is 'the buying and selling of products and services over the Internet or other electronic network' (JC Yang 2000). Another possible definition of electronic commerce would be: 'any form of business transaction in which the parties interact electronically rather than by physical exchange or direct physical contact' (EC 1995). However, while accurate, such a definition hardly captures the spirit of electronic commerce, which in practice is far better viewed as one of those rare cases where changing needs and new technologies come together to revolutionize the way in which business is conducted.


E-commerce is a new way of conducting, managing and executing business transactions using modern means of information technology. It refers to all forms of transactions relating to commercial activities, including both organizations and individuals that are based upon the processing and transmission of digitized data, including text sound and visual images The six main instruments of e-commerce that have been recognized by WTO are telephone, fax, TV, electronic payment and money transfer systems, EDI and Internet.


Telemedicine Act 1997

To be read with Akta Perubatan 1971 (Akta 50) & Malaysian Medical Council’s Code Of Professional Conduct


Evidence Act 1950 Section 90A allows a computer document produced by a computer in good working order in the course of its ordinary use, (e.g. a bank statement) to be admissible as primary evidence provided it is accompanied by a certificate from the person responsible for the management of the operation of the computer who may not be the maker of the document.


The key to identify this potential evidence lies not in the tangible or intangible but in the application of very traditional evidentiary standards. Computer related evidence must pass the established admissibility tests faced by all direct and circumstantial evidence. One of the evidence issues: the best evidence rule.


ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ACT 2006 Background 6 July 2006 ~ tabled in Parliament by Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs 10 July 2006 ~ passed by the members of Parliament 1 January 2007 ~ enforced Objective : An Act to provide for Legal recognition of electronic messages in commercial transactions; The use of the electronic messages to fulfill legal requirements and; To enable facilitate commercial transactions through the use of electronic means and other matters connected therewith.


The future of e-commerce in Malaysia and the Asia region is bright. Governments and regulatory bodies are collaborating on a wider platform to ensure e-commerce law, policy and regulations are enforced to provide a guideline for traders to systematically utilize e-commerce and in tandem ensure protection for ecommerce users. Thank You.


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