In the face of increased scrutiny into the HackingTeam files, governments around the world has started to feel the heat. Just last week, a South Korean spy took his own life in the aftermath of the HackingTeam revelations.
While the investigation into the South Korean spy’s death continues, other customers are suffering from revelations provided by the hack. We cannot help but ask what the implications are for Malaysian intelligence agencies listed as customers of HackingTeam.
It is clear that Malaysian internet freedom has been eroding slowly in recent years while political scandals mired public consciousness. According to the Enemies of the Internet Report of 2012, in the lead-up to the 2013 elections, there was a chilling effect on internet freedom in Malaysia as new media replaced the place of the stifled traditional media outlets.
Malaysia’s new Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2015 and Security Offences (Special Measures) Act of 2012 aimed to create legal environments for legal intercepts of electronic communications. Both has been widely slammed as repressive. In addition, as DigitalNewsAsia has noted, spying of Malaysian citizens by their own government may in fact be unconstitutional.
Absent a bipartisan commission to protect Malaysian citizens from undue or politically motivated surveillance, we need to conduct deeper analysis to determine the nature of electronic surveillance spyware providers and the government.
Therefore, we explored the purchasing decisions and how local resellers worked with HackingTeam. Military intelligence in Malaysia had access to HackingTeam spyware during the 2013 election season and middlemen were seeking commission for the contract. Other findings of interest were also documented below.
The Malaysian clients of HackingTeam