Maria Begum,Tien Chua and Wong Choon Mei Election Cyberattacktargeting Anwar Ibrahim
Maria Begum says PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim, in the doghouse
Tien Chua another wolf in sheep’s clothing
see an opportunist in you, rather a person with a great vision to help Malaysians in general. Stop whining and get real, and stand up against Umno – the creator of all Malaysians’ problems,.Right now, the greater issue is the common enemy we all have, that pseudo-democracy we have sitting in Putrajaya now. So let’s focus on slaying this demon first and the rest would fall in place in due course. take on the election is revealing- that the problem lay in the absence of a strong grassroots network which did not convert positive intention into delivered votes complained of there being too many leaders on the ground. In both cases, what is interesting is that the analysis is in effect a reiteration that is pre-existing. What is in effect being said is that the top-down approach of the works just fine; the only hitch is that there is no one at the bottom to utilise that advantage. When it is said that there are too many leaders, the subtext is that the party has all the leaders it needs in the members; what it lacks are committed followers who are able to convert charisma into votes.
it sets a bad precedent for Pakatan. Two, even if they were to win with Pakatan support, it may hold Pakatan to ransom if things don’t goThird, Pakatan should not try to be all things to all people, but be seen to have a concrete programme to reform and develop Malaysia to serve all Malaysians, giving priority to any disadvantaged and most deserving groups in its economic and social policies without identifying these groups by race.
‘How will be viewed should it ironically help BN retain power? It will be viewed with contempt, disdain, suspicion and treachery… ‘PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim, in the doghouse for allegedly betraying party members over seat allocations, took great care to soothe ruffled feathers, spending more than 2 hours at a meeting with key Johor leaders. towards the formation of a two-party system, something which will benefit all Malaysians, be part of the solution and not the problem. How will MALAYSIA CHRONICLE be viewed should it ironically help BN retain power? It will be viewed with contempt, disdain, suspicion and treachery,Right now, the greater issue is the common enemy we all have, that pseudo-democracy we have sitting in Putrajaya now. So let’s focus on slaying this demon first and the rest would fall in place in due course.
The sense that any public utterance can, in the name of freedom of expression, come without consequences is what drives a significant strand of behaviour on social media today. in theory, such consequences might exist, but we have seen very few examples of these being visited upon those that are guilty of crossing the lines that have been laid down. As last week’s column argued, in the new world of democratised and decentralised information flows, the reflexive support for the freedom of all expression that is rooted in the assumptions of an earlier era need to be revisited. Till that happens social media will remain a space that bristles with the anarchic energy of freedom without providing adequate protection against the misuse of this freedom. This time, the government’s incompetence might have made it easy to summon up outrage and push back hard, but more subtle and insidious efforts are likely to follow. The fault line that exists between the technologies of democratisation and power structures that seek centralisation is a defining one in our times, and the battle between the two is by no means over.
One can drive a very large truck of suspect cargo through the door marked ‘patriotism’. Once the integrity of the nation is invoked and the spectre of social and communal unrest is seen as being at stake, the state buys for itself a lot of room for actions that might have otherwise seemed unpalatable. In that sense, the decision to impose some kind of regulation on social media in the aftermath of hecking thr front door of Raise the Yatin, might have passed muster on the whole, despite its problematic nature.
But instead, the government has chosen to act with staggering incompetence and transparent dishonesty, in deciding to use this discretion by trying to not block a reported millions ghost voters that include websites and 21 twitter handles, many of which have nothing to do with or what happened thereafter
Although almost half of Malaysia’s population uses Facebook, the impact of political campaigns on social media and the Internet still lags behind other traditional methods of reaching out to voters, local political analysts and observers have noted.
But as Malaysia heads towards what will be its most keenly contested national polls in recent times, both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are now vying for influence on a lively social media and Internet news portals.
the list of those blocked is a bizarre one, as it includes journalists and politicians among others, and the names indicate that the Government ‘s intentions are mala fide in that there is a clear attempt to muzzle dissent as well as plain stupid given that there are some on the list who by the widest stretch of imagination, cannot be seen as a threat to anything, let alone something as lofty as the integrity of the nation. What the state has effectively done is to confirm all anxieties that existed about its real intentions. That it has a fundamental discomfort with criticism and a deep hostility towards any attempt to ridicule its actions and that it will use any excuse it gets to launch an attack on the freedom of expression on the Internet. Besides, even if the attempt had been honest in trying to stop rumour-mongering, the actions taken were hardly likely to have the desired impact. The digital world is too agile and inventive for the lumbering machinery of the government to match up to, and would easily bypass these crude attempts at blocking the flow of information
The Facebook logo is displayed on a computer screen. Both BN and PR are vying for influence on cyberspace. — Reuters picAdvertising executives have said that BN is now pouring in funds into online advertisement space in websites and portals popular in Malaysia, while more pro-government video clips have popped up on video-sharing site YouTube ahead of Election 2013.
But analysts have noted Internet campaigns do not figure significantly in the battle for the rural vote whose numbers are big enough to determine the winner in the elections despite the urban vote leaning to the opposition PR pact.
“Social media only has impact on urbanites, but not in rural areas where voters are more concerned about issues close to them,” Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) political analyst Mohd Baharudin Othman told The Malaysian Insider.
“The ceramah method is still the best; they want their leaders close to them,” he said.
There are 13 million Facebook users, which show a 46 per cent penetration of Malaysia’s 29 million-strong population, according to social media monitoring website Socialbakers. Malaysia’s Internet penetration was 62 per cent as of January last year. A total of 64 per cent of Facebook users in Malaysia are aged between 18 and 34 years.
PR parties have always been active online, seeing it as an area with a more level playing field while often complaining about the denial of media space in newspapers and on television and radio.
But in the run-up to Election 2013, BN parties have caught up and are seen to have woken up to the potential power to sway voters through active participation on Twitter, Facebook and on political blogs.
But Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political analyst Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff has argued that social media had little influence as voters were beginning to doubt the veracity of information on social media.
“Social media twists news a lot, like the mainstream media. The news delivered is inaccurate and the truth is doubted,” said Agus.
“Yes, social media has its influence, but it will not create a big impact on Malaysia. I don’t think social media can take down the government. If social media could do so, the Malaysian government would have fallen a long time ago,” he added.
Industry sources have said that advertisement space was being sought in YouTube Malaysia, one of the country’s top visited sites with some two million unique visitors daily.
YouTube is seeing a rise in the number of video clips linked to Malaysian political parties, with a number of pro-BN productions coming online in the past few weeks.
Among them is one purportedly showing Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in a clinch with another man in a hotel room. Anwar has denounced the video clip as a vicious campaign by his political enemies and is mulling a lawsuit against Umno cybertroopers, whom he blames for the clip.
There are several others with musical parodies against the DAP, PAS and PKR, which form the PR pact that denied BN its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008.
But BN campaigns on YouTube and Facebook have not gone viral in the way many anti-BN videos and parodies have.
Monash University political analyst James Chin similarly said that the Internet was no longer influential as political blogs were clearly partisan.
“People are so turned off by political bloggers nowadays. The reason why there is so much traffic is because people are interested in the gossip,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Chin also pointed out that Internet users were used to ignoring online advertisements.
With youths a major demographic online, analysts have highlighted young voters as a key voting bloc that could determine the next federal government in Election 2013. First-time voters make up a significant 30 per cent of 13.3 million voters.
But there is an issue with social media that needs some introspection. When all readers turn broadcasters, what happens to the rights of those who are being written about? Earlier the freedom to expression was effectively outsourced to mainstream media and while it strove to represent public opinion, it did not allow the public to express itself directly, except in highly controlled ways. Getting a letter published in the Letters to the Editor space, for instance, was often a heroic struggle. Traditional media is governed, on paper, by a set of guidelines and rules that attempt to provide protection to those impacted by what they publish or broadcast and legal redress is available to those that feel aggrieved by the same. In reality, particularly in India, the act of going to court and pursuing a case of defamation is so difficult, expensive and time-consuming that the right for redress often remains theoretical. The protection, such as it is exists, comes because news organisations have some internal guidelines about what they will or will not publish, and imperfect as they increasingly might be, at least they exist.
But when it comes to social media, even this filter is effectively absent. The question that might well lie at the heart of this debate is about the changing nature of the public and the private. Social media promotes a form of private musing that gets picked up by microphone and relayed all over the world; in its intimacy and immediacy it gives us the illusion of a private opinion expressed softly, but in its real time connectedness it makes the private extremely loud and public. We superimpose the codes of privately expressed opinion on a public platform in the name of freedom, without acknowledging that such freedom has never been available to us. In private thoughts and conversations, we are free to abuse people, make inappropriate jokes, wish them grievous harm, fantasise luridly about them and impute motives but we cannot do so in our public utterances without attracting potential consequences. Even in private conversation, we do not enjoy absolute anonymity as is often the case with social media. As the private becomes more public both wittingly and otherwise, the need to mark the boundaries and guard them zealously will grow. The real issue is here as much about the demarcation of the private, the ‘freedom from impression’, as it were, as it is about freedom of expression. While the right to personal expression has always been an integral part of democracy, the right to a public platform with enormous reach, velocity of transmission and permanence has certainly not.
A Florida website became the first known target of an election-focused cyberattack last year, when more than 2,500 “phantom requests” for absentee ballots were made from international locations, NBC News reported Monday.
The Miami Herald first reported in February about the irregularities on the election website, which took submissions for absentee ballots. The Herald found that 2,552 requests were filed to a Miami-Dade County elections website over a two-and-a-half week period in July, primarily targeting Democratic voters ahead of upcoming primary elections. They came on behalf of voters who had not actually applied for absentee ballots and were tracked to a few Internet Protocol addresses registered in India, the United Kingdom and other foreign countries.
From the NBC News report:
“It’s the first documented attack I know of on an online U.S. election-related system that’s not (involving) a mock election,” said David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who is on the board of directors of the Verified Voting Foundation and the California Voter Foundation.Other experts contacted by NBC News agreed that the attempt to obtain the ballots is the first known case of a cyberattack on voting, though they noted that there are so many local elections systems in use that it’s possible that a similar attempt has gone unnoticed.
When election officials became aware of the irregularities, they blocked the incoming IP addresses and were eventually successful in stemming the flow of suspicious requests. Investigators initially closed their probe into the cyberattack earlier this year without identifying a suspect, but NBC reports that state officials say they have since re-opened the investigation in order to look into the matter again.
While the attack will likely lead to increased concern over cyber vulnerabilities — especially in a number of others states where digital security for elections is more lax than in Florida — Florida officials have outlined a set of recommendations in a grand jury report in hopes of enhancing security for online election resources.
That the Miami-Dade County Election Department upgrade its existing elections website to have secure access and modernized features. Voters should be able to access a secure site via login/password (similar to financial institutions) where they can access absentee ballot requests and update their voter information. Instructions on obtaining user names and passwords will be included with all voter registration mailings. Utilizing login and password features would limit the ability of future fraudulent absentee ballot requests.