Updates on 22-3-2018 @ 10:30 am: Mr Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, apologised for the data debacle that upended Facebook and opened the door to testifying before Congress. This is related to data breach in connection with Cambridge Analytica, which is operating in Malaysia. For full CNN report please read HERE.
On 17 March 2018 The Guardian newspaper of UK reported that “50 million Facebook profile harvested for Cambridge Analytica (hereinafter referred to as “CA”) in major data breach. The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team harvested millions of Facebook profiles of the US voters and used millions of Facebook profiles of the UK voters to win the Brexit Campaign. It is one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breached, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.
A whistleblower has revealed to the observer how CA – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at that time by Trump’s key adviser Mr Steve K Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalized advertisement.”
Mr Robert Mercer, is a wealthy Republican donor.
For full report by The Guardian newspapers in UK please read HERE.
The New York Times on 17 March 2018 quoted a 28 years old Mr Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower, who helped found CA and worked there until late 2014, said of its leader: “Rules don’t matter for them. For them, this is a war, and it’s all fair.”, HERE.
For following up stories please read:
“Did Donald Trump’s election consultants really meddle in Malaysia’s polls?”
Reuters report dated 20 March 2018 “Cambridge Analytica officials were recorded saying they have used a web of shell companies to disguise their activities in elections in Mexico, Malaysia and Brazil, among various countries where they have worked to sway election outcomes.”
Not only CA had played a major role to influence voters in US Presidential Election in November 2016, it has swayed General Elections in other countries including Malaysia. It had been reported to have mounted “sting operation” including the use of bribes, former spies and Ukranian sex workers to entrap politicians around the world. For full Reuter report read HERE.
An official CA had admitted that it had done work in Malaysia, HERE.
Of course, CA has denied all the wrong doings.
Yours truly hopes that the report by The Guardian, New York Times and Reuters were not Fake News. These days it is very fashionable to classify all not so good news for Malaysia as fake news.
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTIC EXISTENCE IN MALAYSIA
The address of CA is at 16 Jalan Kenyalang, 11/4G, 47810 Kota Damansara, Selangor. By the way it is a residential house.
On 19 March 2018, Malaysia Insight report entitled “Mystery over data analytics firm’s Kuala Lumpur office”, HERE.
The circumstances under which CA’s presence in Malaysia and the activities that have been exposed by the international media like BBC, The Guardian, The Observer, CNBC, CNN and other reputable media outlets calls for an immediate ban on all its activities pending investigations.
On 20 March 2018 CNN tech report on “Facebook’s data crisis deepens as questions mount”, HERE.
Rumour has it that a special high powered advisor was lobbying very hard for the appointment of Mr Steve K Bannon to head the 2018 general elections campaign for a high ranking politician in Malaysia. This deserves a separate posting later.
By the way It has been reported in October 2017 that Lowyat.net, whose founder is Mr Vijiandren Ramadas, had revealed that 42.6 million mobile number of subscribers in Malaysia have been breach or compromised. This was a very serious matter. Malaysia has only a population of about 32 million and the data breach involved 42.6 million. For the full report please red HERE.
It was reported that MCMC and the Police were taken actions against the culprits of the massive data breach. The seriousness caused by the said revelations lasted for a short while. However, it is believed that no prosecutions have taken place. It was a case of there were thunders but no rain so to speak.
When data breach by Facebook news broke out three days ago, all hell breaks lose in the USA, UK and other countries in Europe. The US Congress and House of Commons in UK took immediate actions to address this serious matter. The media in both countries have widely reported the Facebook data breach issues practically round the clock. Unlike in Malaysia, all is well and It is business as usual.
Both lawmakers in the UK and US Congress are persuing this data breach by CA earnestly. Their respective multimedia authorities are investigating into the activities of CA. UK Information Commission has applied for a warrant to search the office of CA, HERE. The US Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the data breach by Facebook, HERE.
It must new noted that up to this date we are still getting short message service (sms) blast from companies trying to sell their products or services. Yours truly would like to ask MCMC how on earth, these companies got hold of our mobile numbers. Yours truly had lodged a formal complaint by email about this to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) but there was not even an acknowledgement let alone action.
STOP PAYING LIP SERVICE – NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTIONS
Now the CA has rocked not only USA and Europe but Malaysia. Now is not the time for finger pointing but constructive actions to be taken to defence the interests of all the 32 million Malaysians, whose personal data/information, may have been breach or compromised yet again. What is the point of us having the Personal Data Protection Act, 2010, when MCMC was and is paying lip service to it.
Whilst we are appreciative of MCMC taking swift actions against so-called fake news, it is equally important for it to stop the recurrence of data breach involving 32 million Malaysians.
The circumstances under which CA has used fictitious address in Malaysia and its unlawful activities including entrapment, briberies and etc that have been widely exposed by the international media like BBC, The Guardian, The Observer, New York Times, CNBC, CNN and other international reputable media outlets calls for an immediate total ban on the operations of CA and its related companies, if any, in Malaysia pending investigations.
Malaysians do not need more press statements from the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, YB Salleh Said Kuruak, or any other officers in his Ministry. Data breach is a very serious matter because of the encroachment of the privacy of Malaysians. Now is the time for serious actions like launching an investigation into the activities of CA, setting up a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of this data breach once and for all.
What had happened to the slogan “Rakyat Didahulukan”?