The Starfish and the Spider

By: Sonny Zulhuda

“The Starfish and the Spider”, or so we were told about ICANN‘s uniqueness by Rod Beckstorm. This is also the title of the book by Rod, the CEO of ICANN, and his co-author that was generously given out to all the Fellows in one of the ICANN’s Fellowship meetings. I did not have chance to grab him after the forum and to get him sign on the book. But here I want to say a big THANKS for the beautiful gift!

The ICANN’s CEO deliberated about how ICANN works as a ‘bottom-up’, decentralized and multi-stakeholders organization. Even though this has been repeatedly mentioned by many previous speakers, to me his presentation wraps up the whole idea of how ICANN has been working.

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IT Law Improves Country’s Competitiveness

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The above is my paper that I delivered in a seminar at Law Faculty, University Diponegoro (Undip), Semarang, this month (June 2o1o). More than 120 participants attended mostly academics, faculties and law students from that University. Beside me as speaker was Prof. Dr. Nyoman Sarikat Putrajaya from the Law Faculty of Undip.

We discussed how the cyberlaw and other IT-related legislation can improve the competitiveness of the country, in this respect Indonesia. Variety of issues were being highlighted and debated including international law, cybercrime, content regulation, e-commerce law, phishing and carding, personal data protection, and -unsurprisingly the most popular topic- the latest incident of online porn that involved some national celebrities.

The program was organised by the Asian Law Students Association (ALSA), Undip Local Chapter in cooperation with Law Firm Prihatwono & Partners. My long-time friend Rico from the Law Firm acted as the moderator. Should you are interested to know further about the paper, you can let me know by email (zulhuda at yahoo dot com). Ah, by the way, it is in Indonesian language! šŸ™‚

ID Theft and Consumer Protection — From the GCC Review Workshop

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Initiated by the Communications and Multimedia Consumer forum of Malaysia (CfM), this national workshop took place on Thursday, 6th May 2010 at the MCMC Headquarter, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Participants came from various quarters such as universities, industries as well as government agencies. The main agenda was to review the provisions of General Consumer Code and to come up with recommendations to improve them.

Before the participantsgo to smaller group discussions, the floor heard presentation from some representatives of the Consumer Forum as well as the Government. Among others, En. Maz Malek (from the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture) strongly emphasised that consumers interest is government interest, and is a national interest. In order to reflect this seriousness, the Government urges that consumer complaints would have to be entertained and settled in 72 hours (3 days). He also stressed about the newly-passed Personal Data Protection Act that would reform the legal landscape of consumer protection in Malaysia.

Mr. Abdul Rosyid from the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Affairs informed the workshop participants that Direct Selling Act and Consumer Protection Act have been emended to include electronically-effected transactions under their protection. Nevertheless, there are still lots of pressing issues going on in the public that are not entirely settled. He mentioned among others the issue of misuse of personal data and incidents of unknown parties sending sms-es asking people to provide their personal data under the pretext of awarding presents or bonuses, etc. This is simply phishing/smishing issues in which personal data and identities are stolen.

This unwanted disclosure, namely information theft or data theft, is on rise due to at least two motives; Continue reading

Privacy Policy in Corporate Practices

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Today my MBA students presented their assessment on privacy policy. This is a practical session for them to see how the principles of personal data protection are being put in in real life corporate conduct. They form a group and choose company of their own in order to look at their privacy policy as stated in their official websites.

The session was very informative and interactive, in which students were to highlight in summary what those companies do in general and what they do with personal information. Then they presented their assessment, examining how good the privacy policy is prescribed, and how well it is compliant with the principles of personal data protection law.

Among the interesting findings that they presented were: Continue reading

Data Protection Principles under PDP Law

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Understanding data protection principles is crucial to (re)formulate the business processes. For companies and organisations that in any way involve the use and exploitation of personal data of their employees, customers (actual and potential) and business partners, series of actions need to be taken to comply with the legal regime on data protection.

In Malaysia, this is particularly a cause of concern nowadays as the new law on personal data protection clearly requires data users to take certain actions.

Laid in the main body of the law is the prescription of data protection principles from which stemming all the rights, duties and liabilities of each of data user and data subject (Note: ‘data user’ is those who use, collect, process, etc. the personal data that belong to certain individuals. Those individual are called ‘data subject’).

In Personal Data Protection Bill that was recently passed by Malaysian Lower House of Representatives, the principles of personal data protection is laid down in Part II, sections 5-12. Continue reading

Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA) are NOT covered by PDP Act 2010

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Much have been said and written in the past two days regarding the passing of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Act by the Dewan Rakyat on Monday this week. Of those hypes and hits, the name CTOS has been among the top, even days and months before the lawmakers finally okays the law.

Not less than parliament members from both sides (ruling and oppositions) as well as the Minister in charge of the law had indicated that with the birth of this Act, people’s suffering and distress due to the alleged misuse of their data by credit reporting agencies (also known as credit rating agency), such as CTOS (Credit Tip-Off Service Sdn Bhd) will see the end.

So happy ending, or is it? I do not think so. And I think this is a mistake, which is unfortunately echoed by the press and media.

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LAW FOR ALL: Refleksi HUT RI Menuju Reformasi Hukum di Indonesia

Oleh: Sonny Zulhuda *


Bulan Agustus tahun 2003 ini menyaksikan Republik Indonesia memasuki tahun ke-58 kemerdekaannya dari penjajahan kolonial Jepang dan Belanda. Perayaan kemerdekaan ini mungkin bisa dikatakan sebagai perayaan yang paling meriah di seantero jagat. Bendera-bendera dikibarkan di gedung-gedung pemerintah, sekolah, kantor-kantor perusahaan, juga di rumah-rumah kompleks dan kampung, meskipunharus dipaksakan diatas atap. Mulut-mulut gang setiapkampung dihias dengan gapura dan umbul-umbul yang berwarna-warni. Stasiun-stasiun TV berlomba-lomba menyajikan acara khusus menyambut kemerdekaan. Lomba-lomba rakyat diadakan mulai dari kampung, komplek, sampai ke kampus. Yang tak kalah menarik, sebagian masyarakat merasa perlu melakukan ziarah, haul dan selametan di kubur-kubur pendahulu yang dianggap bisa memudahkan rejeki mereka.

Saking gregetnya perayaan ini, sampai-sampai seorang ilmuwan sastra dan sejarah Malaysia, Dr. Siddiq Fadhil dalam bukunya Melayu Baru merasa perlu menyebut fenomena itu untuk dicontoh oleh negara Malaysia dalam menyambut kemerdekaannya.

Sayangnya, lebih sering terjadi perayaan dan peringatan hari kemerdekaan Indonesia itu hanya menunjukkan fenomena romantisme sejarah. Memang, cerita kemerdekaan Indonesia telah meninggalkan berbagai cerita heroik dalam literatur perjuangan bangsa. Namun,lebih dari itu, kita perlu melakukan renungan lebih jauh, hendak kemana pembangunan bangsa diarahkan? Hendak diisi dengan perjuangan yang bagaimana kemerdekaan ini? Hendak dimulai dari mana? Pertanyaan-pertanyan inilah yang perlu kita perbaharui setiap kali kita memperingati hari kemerdekaan ini.

Uraian singkat dibawah ini mencoba menelaah situasi dan permasalahan hukum di Indonesia berdasarkan pertanyaan-pertanyaan di atas. Perenungan ini akan diawali dengan kilas balik cita-cita negara hukum yang dicanangkan oleh para pendiri negara Republik Indonesia, dan akan dilanjutkan dengan beberapa permasalahan dan perkembangan reformasi hukum Indonesia ke depan. Tulisan ini tidak bermaksud mencatat seluruh perjalanan perkembangan sistem hukum di Indonesia, namun akan terkonsentrasi kepada beberapa permasalahan aktual dalam kerangka reformasi hukum nasional.

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