21st March 2018
IS CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA ENGAGED TO SPY ON MALAYSIANS?
In the last 24 hours, an expose by the British Channel 4 News regarding Cambridge Analytica (CA), the big data analytics firm, has shocked people of the world and Malaysians alike. In the expose, Channel 4 News secretly filmed officials of CA boasting they could extort politicians, send women to entrap them, and help proliferate propaganda to help their clients. Malaysia was one of the nations mentioned to have engaged the CA officials in covert operation and electioneering work.
Within the same day of the expose, shares of Facebook Inc. saw steep drop in the US equity market. CA has been accused, in the US and Europe, of data mining from the Facebook on millions of social network users without their consent. While a storm has been raised in the US and European countries, in Malaysia we remain in a somber mood, or even in the usual state of denial.
The first alarm should be sounded on infringement of our Personal Data Protection Act 2010, which came into force in November 2013. Secretive mining of personal data of the Malaysian people, whether for business or political purposes, obviously infringes the Personal Data Protection principles, and contravenes the Act. Furthermore the Act applies to both Malaysians and foreigners. It was reported that CA has a registered office in Malaysia.
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) comprises of retired officers of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysian Police. A significant number among us were in the military intelligence service and Special Branch. We are experts in psychological operation and psychological warfare, and knowledgeable about operatives in covert operation work. There are legal and ethical limits to such work if the data mining is for use during peacetime and against our own Malaysian people. Such illegal activities conducted by foreign companies/operatives can be construed as spying, perhaps even treasonous, and is to be harshly condemned.
In the light of the current revelation and expose, it is expected of our Minister of Home Affairs to make a clarification statement. Espionage is a very serious offence. The slightest hint of which should send our people in the intelligence service scurrying to investigate. Actions be taken against perpetrators who infringed the laws.
Reference article from:
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan