Reinvention of Future Governance through E-Government

By: Sonny Zulhuda*

Introduction

This paper is aimed at assessing the perspectives and experiences of Malaysia on the concept and application of electronic government (e-government), more on policy context. Attempts are made to observe preparatory initiatives taken by the government of Malaysia in three distinctive but interconnected aspects: administrative measures, regulatory frameworks, and public participation. Some update applications of e-government in Malaysia will also be touched at the later part. This paper will be ended by underlining the lessons that can be learned by Indonesia in seeking the best format for e-government application, especially in tabling policies and regulatory framework.

E-Government Defined

Electronic Government (E-Government) is variably defined, but basically refers to “the use by government agencies of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.”[1] Nevertheless in this context, this general meaning of the Information Technology (IT) has been so much associated to the use of the Internet. Thus e-government would generally mean the development and utilization of Internet-based solutions in government services and works. Exactly like e-commerce, which is a utilization of Internet-based solutions in business activities.

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Cybersquatting and Some Legal Concerns Surrounding Corporate Websites

By Sonny Zulhuda

Introduction

The corporate world today has grabbed the efficiencies of information and communications technology (ICT) in its maximum use. Regardless the size and area of industries, workplaces have been equipped with cutting-edge tools of the computers technology and connected to the Internet. With the adoption of electronic tools such as computers, Internet or Intranet, businesses have been operated more or less electronic way. Meeting notices are no longer served by printed paper, and personal data of employees and customers are no longer kept on bulk of papers previously stored in wooden or metal cabinets. In large extent, the electronic mail (email) and electronic storage have been used to replace traditional way of doing business.

Websites have now become a virtual address of companies. They are used to publish companies’ profile, products, promotions, activities, as well as interactive portals. In Malaysia, for public listed companies alone, there are already 225 public listed companies that have website for their business operations, ranging from merely informational sites to commercially designed and transactional websites (Source: Bursa Malaysia). Besides, more and more government agencies are also posting their websites in the World Wide Web.

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Making a Case for Cyberlaws

(An excerpt from the Interview between Shom -the reporter, with me as published in The Star Daily, 6 October 2005)

WHAT prevents people from driving recklessly, forging signatures, breaking into homes, kidnapping or stealing? Ideally, conscience should be enough but it’s more likely because people don’t want to pay the penalties for these crimes. And thanks to law enforcement, people are compelled to conduct themselves properly so the rest of us can go about our daily affairs with peace of mind.

 

So, if laws are essential to communities in the conventional world, what of the Internet – a networked world in which more and more of us dwell in each day?

 

“It is a myth that cyberlaws are ‘high profile’ legal matters that concern only techies, computer scientists and information security professionals,” said Sonny Zulhuda, a cyberlaws researcher at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).

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Isu-isu Keselamatan dan ‘Privacy’ dalam Penggunaan E-mail di Premis Kerja

Oleh: Sonny Zulhuda

Saat ini e-mail telah menjadi media komunikasi yang makin popular baik untuk konteks komunikasi personal maupun untuk komunikasi rasmi dan urusan berbisnis. Hal ini disebabkan oleh semakin pesatnya kemajuan teknologi komunikasi dan maklumat menerusi Internet yang telahpun dipakai oleh hampir semua bidang industri dan sektor kerajaan di Malaysia. Hal ini pula merupakan konsekuensi dari perkembangan aplikasi e-government bagi bidang awam dan kerajaan, serta e-commerce bagi sektor industri dan swasta.

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Managing Online Risks through Contractual Instruments

By: Sonny Zulhuda

By transforming to the workplace environment that uses the Internet and other devices of information and communications technology (ICT) as the enabler in running their businesses, organizations are exposed to potential risks out of the abuse and misuse of the said technology by internal employees and any strangers outside the company alike. Such misuse can take the form of security breaches, theft of company’s informational assets, lost productivity, wasted computer resources, electronic viral infections, business interruption and public embarrassment should a workplace lawsuit be filed.

While lots are done for preventing external hackers from jeopardizing internal network and information system, risks from internal sources are often overlooked by most companies. In fact, the threats exposed by these ‘internal saboteurs’ may be as great as the external intruders, and therefore may be as harmful as the external sources of threats.

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Electronic Privacy at Workplace

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Introduction

The massive use of internet and other appliances of information and communications technologies (ICT) at the workplace has intensified productivity through intensive communications between employers and employees as well as between a company and external parties including customers, clients, regulators, etc. Most workplace has now installed Internet and email system by which the employees and employers build their networks and communications both internally and externally. Electronic mail, or e-mail, is a boon to office communications. All employees can be notified instantaneously of important office matters. Phone messages can be logged on the computer and sent via e-mail. A message for someone in a meeting can be e-mailed.

However, what most employees fail to realize with respect to e-mail is that:

  • They are probably not the only person who has access to their e-mail, despite the password protection;
  • Electronic mail, even if deleted from their personal databases, can be saved in numerous forms by the computer’s own internal backup systems, or by the person to whom the e-mail is being sent.

There is arising concern on employees’ email surveillance that has been widely practiced by employers. This practice, while seen important for maintaining ‘due diligence’ of a company, gives rise to questions of intrusion to privacy.

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Personal Data and E-Security (3) – Its Implication to Business Organizations

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Implications of Data Protection Laws to Business Organizations

Whichever approach being preferred, it is quite true to forewarn industries and business organizations that the legislatures worldwide are seeking even wider legal measures to protect personal information. It will someday come to the point where all matters will be regulated.

To enable continued business activities and growth, organizations needs to be alert of the legal risks surrounding the personal data protection. The legal fences being enacted will automatically reduce the organizations’ liberty to conduct activities previously enjoyed. Especially with ever increasing consumerism that keeps watching the industries, puts them in liability risks whenever principles of data collection and use is ever infringed. The lack of awareness in this aspect will certainly position them in high risk too. There seems no available option for business organizations other than to follow and comprehend the development of the law and safely avoid legal liabilities.

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