Putrajaya cracks down on illegal streaming sites

Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said that the domain of the illegal stream sites would be blocked and becomes inaccessible to the Android box users. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said that the domain of the illegal stream sites would be blocked and becomes inaccessible to the Android box users. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has to date blocked 246 sites providing illegal streaming content through Android boxes to put an end to unauthorised sites, The Star reported, today.

MCMC’s Network Security and Enforcement Sector chief officer Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin told the English daily that they are working closely with the ministry in facilitating the shutdown of sites providing unauthorised screening of movies, documentaries and news over the set-top box.

“Based on the details and complaints from the rights’ owners which were made to the ministry, MCMC facilitated the shutdown,” he said, adding that the commission can only act based on the ministry’s complaints.

He said that the domain of the illegal stream sites would be blocked and becomes inaccessible to the Android box users.

“We are working closely with the ministry and only through their complaints and the details provided to us, such as their domain and URLs, World Wide Web page addre­ss, on the illegal streaming sites, can we act to block the access,” he said.

Zulkarnain said such sites have no legal jurisdiction over the breach of copyrights and intellectual property laws, and that many of the Android boxes available in the market are illegal and does not carry the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) approval.

He said the Android devices need to be certified as to ensure it complies with the operating standard approved by MCMC and that it does not interfere or disrupt with the frequencies that had been allocated or approved to the other gadgets.

“Importers and distributors of such devices need to get the gadget tested to see if they complied with the standard approved by MCMC. The approved device would be given Sirim stickers to indicate it had passed certification and can be used legally,” he said.

In cracking down the sales of the Android boxes, Zulkarnain said the MCMC enforcement unit has stepped up surveillance and monitoring as well as enforcement against distributors and sellers caught with unapproved Android boxes, which are widely sold in shopping malls and online shopping websites.

“We know who they are and will act against them soon to discourage and stop these illegal boxes, which promote the illegal content streaming, which breaches copyright and intellectual property laws,” he said, adding that the distributor and seller of these boxes can be fined up to a maximum of RM100,000 and jailed six months or both under the Communications and Multimedia (technical standards) regulations, if convicted for not having the approval.

He also said that consumers have to be wary when using unapproved devices as it could contain malware or malicious software and could be used as spying tools to collect personal data and other details.

In Singapore, a ban has been proposed on the sale of such devices to curb the infringement of copyrights and intellectual properties.