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Computer Crime

            The DSA, in providing for the licensing and regulation of Certification Authorities, attempts to cater for the rising need for transacting parties over the Internet to ascertain each other's identities and the integrity of the messages. A further effect of this Act is to make a digital signature as legally valid and enforceable as a traditional signature. .
             The CCA has been enacted to ensure that misuse of computers is a criminal offence. The Act makes it an offence for a person(s) to enter or attempt to enter into computers and computer systems without authorisation as well as damage or alter data in computers by planting viruses or other means. It also makes it an offence for anyone to assist the perpetrator(s). Although the Act applies within and outside the country regardless of nationality or citizenship, this power will be limited to the practicalities of enforcement beyond its borders. Under this Act, the authorities have also reclassified credit card fraud as computer crime. It had been originally classified as a cheating offence under Section 420 of the Penal Code.
             Other related-cyber laws passed subsequently include the Telemedicine Act 1997, the Copyright (Amendment) Act 1997 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. In the pipeline currently is the Personal Data Protection Act, which will provide for the protection of the individual's privacy. For example, it would make it an offence for people who collect data on individuals to use that data other than for the purpose specified during collection.
             In 1997, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit introduced the Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCert) to assist public and private organisations as a point of reference of expertise on network and security matters. .
             While Malaysia has made a good start in regulating the IT environment, the legal and regulatory framework must be constantly reviewed and tightened up, to cater for new technology, including the efficiency of the police, prosecution and judiciary.

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