Thursday, October 16, 2008

SMS messages can also be leaked out?

The purported exchange of text message between Najib Tun Razak and lawyer Shafee Abdullah has become a controversy.The opposition has charged that there is something more to the one sentence text that read "will face a tentative charge but all is not lost." Opposition politicians and critics have claimed there is an abuse of power by the DPM while BN politicians said Razak Baginda would have been freed if there was interference. But there is a point that's being missed out by many - how could an exchange of text message between a Deputy Prime Minister and a very prominent lawyer be leaked out? That's a serious breach of security and confidentiality, if the text message is accurate. What has the service operator got to to say about its protection of its subscribers. It's bad enough that banks, property agents and even clubs seems to be able to call us up or send us an unsolicated SMS of their promotion but when private exchange of messages leaks out, surely something is wrong. If it happens to the DPM, there's nothing to stop SMS of other politicians, whether BN or Pakatan Rakyat from being leaked out. Simple SMS remarks or casual jokes could easily be distorted and leaked out to discredit a person politically. But beyond politics, the question of privacy and confidentially has been serious violated. Surely, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) would want to find out more. Jeff Ooi has his take on the SMS leak here.

43 comments:

Michael Gaw said...

DEAR WONG,

BEWARE! NOTHING IS SECRET.

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING!!!!

Pok Kam said...

Well said and I say let the MCMC get to the bottom of this.

lilian said...

Do a google search on 'intercept text messages' and one can find out how many ways this can be done. In fact, some companies in US are promoting a device to do that. Moral of the story is to live in the light and one does not have to be afraid of the dark, I guess?

Bendrix said...

Why assume that the "leak", if there was one, emanated from the telco(s) in question?
Assuming the messages are genuine (I don't care if the messages as "accurate" or otherwise), the source may have equally come from the respective mobile phones of the respective users.
In any event, I don't see the point being missed. I want to see the term in your contract with your telco which says that it will protect the privacy of your text messages.
Maybe the relevant question to ask is who is paying for the DPM's mobile phone bill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilpatrick_and_Beatty_text-messaging_scandal

Leithaisor said...

Google with three search terms -
carnivore echelon spying - and see what foreign Big Brother technology is up too.

When she was still married to Price Charles, even Princess Diana's cellphone were spied on by some snoopers, and with rather simpler technology if I recall correctly. That was many years ago, so what is available these days to snoopers, be they official or otherwise?

So there may not be just the possibility of someone withing the telco or some similar body leaking the SMS.

Huat Chai said...

Yang Berhormat Datuk Wong, what are u trying to say actually? So, what do u think, is it a good thing that the sms messages leaked out, or you prefer them to be in the dark so that nobody knows the
truth. Isnt your Bible tell you truth will prevail over evil eventually. I say Halleluyah how about you brother Wong?

Anonymous said...

After reading the SMS's, you don't think there is abuse of power ? Talking to the IGP etc ? And who is Najib to exonerate himself ? He should be investigated. In no other country would a person like Najib be considered for high office. And so called journalists like you give him a free pass. Laughing and joking at Najib's press conference. Remember that a woman was murdered. Please treat this with the seriousness it deserves.

Shawn Tan said...

There is nothing secure about SMS message transmissions. The encryption mechanism used is trivial and it is transmitted through the air. Any messages sent like that can never be assumed to be secure. Ditto with email messages, which are transmitted in the clear through the Internet.

susan loone said...

Helloo Datuk;

Najib is DPM of this country, perhaps next PM. I do not think that he can have a private life now. Everything he does will be questioned especially something that concerns a murder!

So please do not give him excuses to call this thing 'private'. As a journalist, you should question whether he had indeed abuse power as he did not deny the sms.

Do it not for your pocket, but in interest of the nation.

:)

jrajster said...

Good enough for us to believe every member of Malaysian society is disgusted with our politicians. And they are willing to risk their job and safety to expose high profile corrupts at all cost no matter where, how and by whom.

Jed Yoong said...

Datuk, Special Branch helping the Opposition?

wandererAUS said...

Mr Wong, why are you feeling so surprised. Corruption in Malaysia, sits on the top section of the list of corrupted countries. Anything is available with a right price.
Until and unless, the country can rid corruption and replacing efficiency in management with integrity, the privacy of citizens is just a hallow assumption of clean play.

Huat Chai said...

Yang Berhormat Datuk, i agree fully with Susan Loone. U give me the impression that you are always on the side of the powerful. Remember u condemned Hindraf's protest on the street? Remember u were rallying for BN on the last G.E. I call u an MCA's agent. I actually didnt read your blog for some time because I strongly dislike u. Remember some readers said they feel vomited when they look at u. Actually i feel the same thing.

Anonymous said...

MCMC is too busy cooking a credible excuse for blocking Dr. Chua and Donald Lim debate. Now MCMC is nothing more than a GOV tools.

with the SMS, There is two folds.

1) the bocor. how?
2) Then what is most impt is if there is a crime being committed.

BN culture tend to shoot the messagers - without fail.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if people really do understand English. They are so blinded by their own agendas to bring the government down, that they would even fore go their own privacy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk,
If the citizen do not feel safe from the system that is supposed to be protecting them what good is a government we mightg as well have chaos rules. I agree with you that private conversation is just that a private conversation. IN America they have the Bill of Rights to protect individual rights.
I believe this government is out of order when it cannot even curb lies spread by the opposition leader and his followers. It is as though the government is condoning it, including eavesdropping other people private conversation!

Anonymous said...

Today, your sms can be read. Your mobile telephone conversation can be ovehead heard.

There are already many pieces of such equipment in this country.

Do not use your mobile phone for business or any not legal or ethical activities.

Richard Loh said...

Datuk, why you always want to be lopsided?

By all means, pursue till the end what you wrote and quote:
But beyond politics, the question of privacy and confidentially has been serious violated. Surely, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) would want to find out more.

But you won't question or write whether your DPM had abused his power following the leak of the sms. Call for a full investigation.

Kill two birds with one stone lah, that easy....journalism is to seek the truth and justice but sorry lah, this is boleh land.

balan said...

Now, everyone have to start worrying, especially all the rumour mongers.

Regards

http://balankumarpremakumaran.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I think we all need to start getting used to seeing Malaysia buy more French stuff. After the French submarines, now our govt wants to buy the half-French Eurocopters. What's next? I wonder if the French boys had been busy snapping pictures and videos that they are now using to promote exports to Malaysia. Mmmm???? You get my drift. Maybe Singapore may be the next country who will muscle us in future negotiations. I wonder if they put CCTV at the diamond exhibition to video record all the people that come and go at that place? And I wonder about the hotels where the VVIPs stay. Surely they do keep CCTV recordings. Wow that could be explosive.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the 4th Floor boys are in overdrive to provide more "leaks" to MT, LKS, and DSAI so that these guys can use the info to give the playboy a good whacking. Surely it takes somebody very influential to be able to get all these juicy "leakages". No Ali, Ah Chong and Mutusamy can just walk to a telco and ask for this sms info. I think we should condition ourselves to heal more hot info coming out as the UMNO infighting gets hotter. The opposition boys should expect brown envelopes to suddenly be dropped into their mailboxes.

zeta men said...

Saya amat bersetuju dgn pandangan Dato Wong kerana perkara ini amat serius dan perlu diambil tindakan segera.Perkara tersebut boleh memberikan seribu satu implikasi negatif. Apakah sms yg kita hantar tidak lagi selamat ? Dan senang dibaca oleh pihak lain ? Ataupun syarikat telekomunikasi yg menjadi dalangnya. Dlm isu ini, apa yg perlu dilihat ialah bagaimana mereka mendapat bahan sms tersebut. Ianya direka ataupun memang betul realitinya. Sekiranya tidak, kami sbg pengguna rangkaian telefon mudah alih merasakan tertipu.

keadilan said...

Kenapa MCMC diam ? Adakah mereka tahu isu ini sudah menjadi serius. Mereka perlu bertindak perbetulkan keadaan sebelum rakyat mengamuk. Sudah wujud rasa kegelisahan dikalangan rakyat jelata mengenai tahap keselamatan di rangkaian jaringan sms. Jgn pula lepas kini keluar cerita emel. Isu ini sudah meletup.

Anonymous said...

Isu ini bukan sahaja mendapat liputan media dan blog tempatan tetapi media2 antarabangsa juga telah mula membongkarkan isu ini. Dua perkara - apakah kesahihan kandungan sms itu benar ? Jika benar bagaimana maklumat tersebut boleh disebarkan kpd pihak ke 3? Apakah berlaku sabotaj? Isu ini semakin panas tetapi tidak ada jawapan dan tindakan dari mana2 pihak.

rasa sayang said...

Adakah kandungan sms yg selalu kita hantar yg dianggap satu bahan penuh rahsia tetapi sebaliknya? Apa yang didedahkan di blog dan media mengenai sms yg dikatakan dihantar oleh TPM akan mula membuka mata kita? Pihak2 yg bertanggungjwab kena buat sesuatu. Macam ada sesuatu yg tak kena apabila sms pun boleh kena bocor. Apa dah jadi. Malu Malaysia.

R and R said...

Inilah kelemahan MCMC. Mereka lambat bertindak. Wake up !
Sekiranya kandungan tersebut benar - maka riwayat sms di Malaysia mungkin jadi tanda tanya. Fikir fikirkanlah.

n95 said...

Sebenarnya banyak kemusyikalan dlm isu ini. Malah jawapan TPM juga tidak mencerminkan sebarang kebenaran. Jawapan TPM mengundang pelbagai spekulasi. Siapa yg perlu jawap? Kenapa Polis tidak bertindak. Jgn main2. Ini bab sms yg dihantar ke org lain kalau boleh bocor, di mana tahap kepercayaan dari rakyat selepas ini?

Anonymous said...

Why a need for investigation ? Unless MT first proven its source. Come on MT, perception is not enough.

Anonymous said...

It is not just your sms that can be eaves dropped. Even your telephone conversation and internet communication (VOIP or email) can be eavesdropped. There are plenty of eavesdropping technology available in the market. For the common people, there will be nobody who will bother to eavesdrop on you because you have no commercial value. But if you are into politics, especially if you are a high profile person, or if you are into megabucks projects, then you should worry. Big Brother probably have a tap on you, and the tapped info will be put to "good" or "evil" use at the right time. The US govt is known to tapthe communication of their own citizens, their own military, and on other governments as well. Given the nature of our own government, we should not be surprised that tapping on politicians, megabucks contractors and NGOs are probably going on all the time. In the past when all civil servants work under a dominant party with one dominant faction, all are hushed up. But nowadays it is difficult to tell whether the key workers with vital info is a supporter of UMNO A, UMNO B, PKR or PAS, and thus juicy political info is harder to guard, and thus easier to leak its way into public space. This is sometimes good because now dirty politicians will know that their bad deeds may be exposed sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

Yeah WONG, you better be careful. I am sure there are plenty of wiretapping by BIG BROTHER on Star, and they will know what news you want to print even before you print. They probably also have the special branch people infiltrated into your organization.

ChengHo said...

minister MCMC why u keep quite?
you have to investigate the telcos operator.

Bunnies said...

Aiyah, dont try and divert the whole attention here...

The fact remains, like you have said, IF the content of SMS is indeed true than it is a bigger crime than this leak out SMS story right? So, again, what is more important?? The privacy and piracy?? OR The truth be told??

Yes, it is a breach of security that content of SMS can be retrieved and told to all. However, if this breach of security didnt happen, than everyone of us might be cheated into thinking that our DPM or perhaps other "powerpuffs" are righteous and just when in actual fact, they are not.. if the content of the squilled SMS is found to be true la...

So how?? do we go all ra-ra over the expose SMS which shouldnt happened or do we go all rage that our DPM and perhaps other "powerpuffs" do and have manupilated a situation to their favour?

I look left, right, top, bottom, sideways, front way... this DPM is.. ish! ish! ish! SCANDALOUS!! I think he is more suited for Hollywood ler. His playground.. there he can plaaaaaaayyyyyy until.... everything falls off!

kchan said...

there a many way to sniff out of gsm network nowadays, telco is malaysia in unsurprisingly keeping record of our SMSes in their databases.

Malaysia Humorous Image Board

frontier said...

How can this happen?

MCMC must act and sack telco personnel involved in this unacceptable behaviour. Telco must be punished too!!

I have even heard of how sms msg were leaked out and destroyed marriage of 10 years. The wife communicated with ex but that can be innocent and normal. Indeed, it was but husband blew it up. Somehow the suspicious husband managed to get a friend working in telco to help uncover her sms.

Can telco be more responsible?!?

frontier 2 said...

My fren used 012 and sms was leaked.

With Jeffooi confirmation, 012 seems to be the culprit that destroy personal, family and business confidentiality!

sinnersaint:saintsinner said...

Chun Wai

Here's a story which was related to me years ago... one of the immigration director was concerned about her husband having an affair, so she went to the telco to track all his text messages and ascertain his whereabouts, after a month, she confronted him in a hotel having a ball of a time with his "side kick" ke ke ke

Point here is, it could have been anyone framing Najib ie police,army, immigrations, UMNO, MCA, MIC, PR, The law firm or simply put Najibs enemies.

As simple as that Mr Chun Wai, we are all too familiar with Public Personalities being watched and crucified, history has shown it, the world over, why should Malaysia be any different.

Pleasant weekend to All.

shalom

amoker said...

Ah, same ol same ol UMNO /BN.

When people talk about ISA, they divert to dog food and eggs.

When people talk about Ahmad Said's racial statements, they divert to chinese reporters.

When people talk about Khir toyo/ Utusan azan, they divert to lie detector test.

When people talk about murder of a woman, they divert to privacy of sms.

Datuk, am sure that your newspaper will divert this issue again in tomorrow's edition.

Anonymous said...

Why is everybody so surprised and shocked over an sms leak? It can happen in any country. USA phone lines are tapped. Their military personnel's phone calls are tapped. Your black berry messages go to Canada and back, and the CIA most likely can tap into anybody's line if they want to. And your messages and phone lines are often done via satellite, and any country's military can tapped into them if they want to and are willing to spend on the necessary equipment and other resources. And most of the messages and calls are not encrypted. So if you want to be in politics, you must assume that you will lose your privacy. Anything you have done since childhood until the present, are up for scrutiny. In fact, in Malaysia there is NOT ENOUGH of scrutiny of our politicians and ministers. They have been getting away with too much abuses unchallenged. They even have the nerve and arrogance to tell journalists and opposition that they are NOT to question them!!! All politicians in positions of any authority should be expected to be questioned, and they have to give proper replies. When cabinet or state ministers tell journalists not to question them on any issues, the journalists should tell these politicians to go fly kite. And the OSA should be banned from use for anything that has nothing to do with military security. Contracts issued by the government should not be covered by OSA! Any damn contracts for bridges, office buildings, roads, damns, ports etc have nothing to do with national security, and the OSA stamp should be removed.BUT NO NO, our government have a lot of dirty secrets to hide in those contracts, and thus the OSA stamp is put on it. Hopefully in the midst of all the intra UMNO and intra MCA fighting, maybe some moles can do us all a favour by leaking out the contents of some of these controversial contracts.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ANON (Oct 17, 4.25pm).
The more leaks the merrier.
Nobody is interested in our ordinary rakyat's sms,phone calls or email. They have got no commercial or political value. But all those sms, phone calls, and email among thebig wigs are worth something. With all the scams and scandals going on in the country, don't you all love more leaks? I can forgive the telcos for this little leak. Please supply more leaks.

Anonymous said...

It happens every time UMNO or MCA have party elections! Sordid tales and "leakage" of horrible scams abound. Somehow some info will get passed to DAP or PKR,or now Malaysia-Today, and then our opposition parties and bloggers will have a field day in parliment. It's a dog eat dog situation in those parties. Oops, dog lovers, forgive me for insulting the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a favourite place for many of our Malaysian corrupt people to go do their transactions or have a little fun. You see, they can get out of the country to do their thing, but since they are so busy, Singapore is the fastest getaway place. Imagine having access to the video recordings of the hotels in Singapore! You can see who is meeting who there. Maybe that's why Malaysian government always lose in negotiations with the Singapore government.

Anonymous said...

Advice to politicians:
Don't use the same phone.
Use your maid's passport to register for prepaid simm card, and then keep changing the simm cards.
Don't always stay in the same hotel and the same favourite room.
Book the hotel room yourself, and don't tell anybody until the last minute where you are staying.
Don't leave your handphone, laptops, and briefcase in the hotel room when you are out, otherwise they get hacked or bugged.
Keep changing your drivers, and select the drivers yourself, and don't share the drive with your spouse...

a lot more..

Anonymous said...

MCMC will not be able to get to the bottom of this matter. Just think. Can any ahmad, ak kow or tamby get a record of SMS transactions? I dont think so.

There must be a lot of power behind this action.

This issue just become more interesting on 2 counts.

1. the contents of the messages
2. how the records can be obtained.

The second item being the more explosive one.Any akan datang?