National Security in Digital Economy: Redefinition, Reaction and Legal Reform

By: Sonny Zulhuda

This is my latest paper that I recently presented in the 1st International Conference on International Relations and Development (ICIRD) organised by a consortium of Thai top universities, and held in the beautiful campus of Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.

This paper investigates the need for global government and especially Malaysia to relook at and redefine the concept of national security amid the changing circumstances especially in relation to the country’s increased reliance on the information and communications technology (ICT).

The challenge is, the more a governance system is exposed to the Internet and ICT, the bigger the risks it would face. When the security of the system is not reliable enough to secure the system, information assets are at stake and the country’s critical information infrastructure (such as defence, communications, energy and medical systems) would become loophole that undermines national security.

At the end of the paper, it examines Malaysia’s readiness by looking at the policy and legal initiatives it has set to adopt. While steps have been taken to provide necessary policies and strategies, this paper argues that the law on national security requires a fresh look and interpretation in order to support the protection of national critical information infrastructure.

(Keywords: national security, digital economy, critical information infrastructure, law and regulation)

Note: Not less than 30 people attended my session (there are three other sessions running concurrently in other halls). Questions were posed that made the session more lively and interesting. One of the questions was about the legal position of ethical hacker. Another asked about the ‘feasibility’ of the courts joining the reform that I instigated in my presentation.

There were some other questions that I received. Overall, it was a nice experience presenting in a multi-disciplinary environment. The conference is now over, but the network built up during that event is just beginning!

Kop kun kaap!

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