Draft of online safety bill being fine-tuned – Teo

Draft of online safety bill being fine-tuned – Teo

KUALA LUMPUR: The draft of the Online Safety Bill is being fine-tuned, said Deputy Communications Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said the Communications Ministry and the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department had been tasked with conducting a study on the requirements of the new act.

Teo said that a committee has been established to study the new law, and discussions regarding it are currently ongoing.

“There is a possibility that this bill may be brought to Parliament for approval in the next sitting…it is currently being worked on,” she said during the Ministers’ question time in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She said this in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Mumtaz Md Nawi (PN-Tumpat), who wanted to know whether the government intended to enact online safety legislation.

Responding to the original question from Datuk Shamshulkahar Mohd Deli (BN-Jempol) about whether the ministry would make it mandatory for all social media platform service providers in the country to register with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Teo said the matter was being refined and MCMC was in the process of completing the licensing framework.

She said that the proposed licensing enforcement targets providers of social media services and Internet messaging services that can be accessed by users according to the evaluation criteria that will be set.

Teo said that the measure was deemed necessary due to the prevalence of harmful content on social media and Internet messaging platforms.

“This regulatory proposal aims to elevate online security and address content that violates the country’s laws in line with current global trends and advancements, without intending to restrict media freedom,“ she said.

According to Teo, the implementation of these measures will not only enhance user protection but also guarantee that users can access online services from the platform provider securely and reliably.

Meanwhile, Teo said that the decision to remove any social media content does not rest solely with the MCMC but also involves the platform providers.

She explained that upon receiving complaints from the public and law enforcement agencies, the MCMC will notify the online service providers to take appropriate action to remove the reported content.

“The decision to remove the content will be made by the platform provider after determining whether the complaint violates their community guidelines,” she said in reply to a supplementary question from Shamshulkahar regarding MCMC guidelines for evaluating social media content prior to requesting its removal.

Teo said that between Jan 1 and March 14 of this year, platform providers turned down 14 per cent of content removal requests from the MCMC, citing that the content did not breach their community guidelines.

She noted that during the same period, 86 per cent of the content removed was related to gambling, fraud, and fake content. – Bernama


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