Risks of Internet Banking vis a vis Consumer Protection in Malaysia (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

Like other ICT inventions that promise both unprecedented benefits and scaring risks, Internet banking has been received by both excitement and worries. While it offers high level of effectiveness such as online fund transfer as easy as from customers’ home desktop, it also haunts many as reflected in incidents involving theft of personal access code, tracing of online footprints and intrusion of online activities of other customers.

In Malaysia, Internet banking is still at its infancy though the number of service providers is increasing. Unfortunately, some crucial areas are left unclear for Internet banking consumers. This includes issues of distribution of liability between Internet banking stakeholders, use of personal data of bank customers, and low level of consumer protection provided by Internet banking operators. Furthermore, serious risks are awaiting consumers since the country’s consumer protection law statute is not applicable to commercial activities effected by information and communications technologies (ICT).

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E-Business and Privacy: Total Strangers or Marriage Made in Heaven? (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

The information economy derives its name from the fact that information has become a powerful source of wealth for today’s corporations. Understandably there comes the rising demand to ensure this promised wealth is not unnecessarily missed. For this, today’s corporate world witnesses a great evolution in terms of the way they run the business by adopting the advantage of information and communications technologies (ICT). These tools have been increasingly exploited in order to secure the wealth as promised by the information age.

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E-Commerce and Consumer Protection in Malaysia

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

The internet hits us like the storm and its implosion is truly phenomenal. It’s a forum to retrieve, communicate and disseminate information. Last but not least, it’s the best place to advertise goods without being restrained by conventional/traditional modes of transaction and costly advertisements.

What is Electronic Commerce?

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) means all forms of commercial activities that are carried out through electronic networks including the promotion, marketing, supply, order or delivery of goods or services. Internet is the most common medium used for e-commerce worldwide.

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E-Commerce Act 2006: An Information Security Perspective

By: Sonny Zulhuda

(This article first appears in the E-Security Bulletin vol. 18 – (Q1-2009), published by CyberSecurity Malaysia in 1st Quarter of Year 2009, under the title ‘The requirement of information availability in the E-Commerce Act 2006’)

One of the key components in information security is the information availability, which seeks to ensure that authorized users have access to information and associated assets whenever required. This availability factor is so important to the extent that its deficiency can adversely affect other aspects of information security, namely the integrity and confidentiality of information.

This significance cannot be seen bigger in the area of electronic commerce. Imagine if the security of an information system used by an e-payment service provider is compromised by a denial-of-service (DOS) attack thus affects the availability of service, not only are the commercial data and the electronic processing thereof being jeopardised, but also the whole supposedly-trusted system can fail miserably. Continue reading

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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Cyberlaw and Beyond – What to Expect After Legislation?

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The recall of Malaysia’s existing legal landscape related to electronic business (see my previous posting here on ‘Legal Landscape of Malaysian E-Business Environment’) may result in impression that the country has done good enough. True, Malaysia should take the pride of among the regional leader in enacting legal framework for e-business. But surely enacting rules alone is not sufficient. Not only they need to be implemented, but also they need to prove their effectiveness.

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Legal Landscape of Malaysian E-Business Environment

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The need to enact, pass and thus implement e-business-related laws has been closely linked to assurance of having smooth and secure e-commerce activities and thus it is closely associated with a country’s determination to speed up development in this information era. The Malaysian Government has indeed reaffirmed this link. They include in their pledge to the international community when initiating Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project that Malaysia would become a regional leader in intellectual property protection and cyberlaws. This is because Malaysia believes (like other countries supposedly do) that the existence of cyberlaws in the country means guarantee for the invention, e-commerce as well as consumer protections. This is why cyberlaw is important for country’s growth and development.


Based on the nature of the scope of the legislation, e-business-related law can be categorized into two distinctive categories, firstly, those legislations that address solely the specific electronic environment and applications. Secondly, those legislations that do not solely address on electronic environment, instead they apply as a general law but applicable, in part or in totality, to the cyberspace and online environment. On the ground of these categorization, this paper makes an attempt to assess the current legal landscape of Malaysia’s e-business environment.


Since their enactment in 1997, specific set of Malaysia’s cyberlaws provided ground for establishing legal frameworks for country’s e-commerce and information security. Besides, there are other laws that have been identified as providing important grounds for the effective and efficient operation of electronic business. Continue reading

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