PDRM Know What You Are Doing On Porn Sites! Here’s How.

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It’s real and it’s here right now!

In an exclusive New Strait Times special, the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM) reportedly launched a new unit called Malaysia Internet Crime Against Children Investigation Unit (MICAC), which will be under the Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division (D11).

D11’s Principle Assistant Director Assistant Commissioner Ong Chin Lan will oversee the workings of MICAC. (Image Credits: R.AGE)

Here’s a simplified imagery to break down the working of MICAC within the different divisions of PDRM:

Image by CanLaw

MICAC’s main task is to monitor traffic at pornographic websites, especially those are who upload and share child pornography.

Image Credit: KGWN

So how do they do it? Well, here’s how.

MICAC operates a monitoring software known as Internet Crime Against Children — Child Online Protective Services (ICACCOPS), which is developed by the American Government.

According to the New Strait Times, this system detects in REAL TIME Internet Protocol addresses (IP) of those surfing porn in balloon markers, and the websites they surfed.

With this, MICAC can locate Internet users surfers surfing these sites, build a “data library” of these individuals and prosecute them!

And you think all these only happened in the movies. Wrong. (Image Credit: Wattpad)

However, are they the police allowed to do this? Lawyer Lim Wei Jiet doesn’t think so.

He is of the view that the currents laws in place do not empower the police and MCMC to conduct mass-surveillance on pornographic sites.

No no no. (Image Credit: ReactionsGif.me)

So let’s break down Lawyer’s Lim argument:

1) Powers under the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA 1998) and Criminal Procedure Code 

The CMA 1998 created MCMC. In short, CMA 1998 simply states what MCMC can and cannot do. Just as parents act towards their children. 

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Under this Act, there are provisions which allow for the interception of communication if an officer from MCMC or a police officer suspects there is information relevant to their investigations upon the authorization of a Public Prosecutor or a Minister.

Such is laid in Section 252 …

and Section 265.  

However, Section 213 of the 1998 Act also requires MCMC to provide “model procedures for dealing with offensive or indecent content.”

That’s where the problem lies.

Due to wording in the provisions, this set of model procedures is non-exhaustive. Simply, it is at the discretion of the police the kind of procedure to follow. 

Moreover, the definition of ‘interception’ and ‘communication’ in the CMA 1998 is drafted BROADLY. Hence, Lim argues that this may allow authorities to monitor and collect data from users surfing porn sites.

However, he also argues that the model procedure only includes complaint mechanisms, inquiries and guidelines for service providers to remove indecent content. This should not extend to a state-wide mass surveillance programme.

There are always two sides to the coin after all. (Image Credit: GifImage.net)

Section 116C of the Criminal Procedure Code also allows for the interception of communication if there is permission from the Public Prosecutor.

Such offense may include the assessing of child pornography under Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, which is an important legislation to curb child grooming (the act of exploiting minors for sexual abuse).

2) The Problem With MICAC Method’s of Gathering Data

So you might be thinking “Aiya, at the end of the day just need permission only ma, so hard meh”

That’s what my dad used to tell me all the time. (Image Credit: GIPHY.com)

Well, that’s just the thing: the act of collecting real-time data and conducting a state-wide mass surveillance by intercepting communications might have been done WITHOUT permission from the Public Prosecutor.

Say what!? (Image Credit: GIPHY)

As argued by Lim, the police and MCMC can intercept your communication only if there are reasonable suspicion and permission from the Public Prosecutor.

By going around the requirement set by the law and conducting mass surveillance using such methods on many Malaysians in real time does not appear to comply with the law.

So has the government went a bit too far? Lim believes a balance must be struck.

Lawyer Lim argues that although the fight against child pornography is important, the government must be careful to prevent any unnecessary infringement of Malaysian’s right to privacy under the Constitution.

He adds on:

In a post-Snowden age where Governments are encroaching every aspects of our lives – watching & listening to every click or scroll of our tablets – we must learn to strike a balance between protection of society & safeguarding citizens’ private lives.

Hence, it’s just like how Obi-wan puts it: 

Image Credit: jennifergarner.tumblr.com

So what do you guys think about the new unit formed by the Police? Would we finally see a reduction in child sexual offences?

Let us know in the comments below. 



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Hew Hoong Liang
Can Law Meme Dealer by Day. Shows, Animations and Illustration Fan by Night. Having volunteered in a number of legal and non legal events, Liang looks forward to a integrate technology in the legal field.