No decision yet on proposal to ban sale of Android TV box — Eddin Syazlee

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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 13): The Government has yet to decide on whether or not to ban the sale of Android TV boxes currently available in the local market.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister  Eddin Syazlee Shith said discussions on the matter were still ongoing between the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).

The ban is being mulled over as the use of Android TV box, which offers a lot of extra services and content, involves some issues concerning the Copyright Act, which is under the purview of the KPDNHEP.

At present, the legal providers of such services and content in Malaysia are Astro IPTV and TM HyppTV.

“Both the MCMC and the KPDNHEP are in the midst of doing an in-depth study on the matter by focusing on several aspects, especially the effect of the content to the consumers.

“We hope the study will be completed before the end of this year, and until then, there is no ruling to restrict or completely ban the sale of the Android box,” he said when asked whether Malaysia would emulate Singapore’s move to table new laws to ban the sale of Android streaming boxes.

Earlier, the Deputy Minister launched the Malaysian chapter of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebration, which was also attended by the Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Dr Ali Mohamad Nor, here today.

According to Eddin Syazlee the month-long celebration themed ‘Cyber Wellness’ would be focusing on digital health and ethics among youths.

He said based on a survey, 35 per cent of Internet users aged between 15 and 30 were suffering from Internet addiction, allocating an average of seven hours a day surfing the Internet.

“That is why we will organise a campaign led by CyberSecurity Malaysia to educate these young people about Internet ethics because apart from ethical issues, uncontrolled use of the Internet can also affect their health,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ali, when asked to comment on the status of MCMC’s assessment on Huawei 5G network and the proposal to ban the Chinese telecommunication giant from building its high-speed broadband network infrastructure in Malaysia, said the Ministry would not make any decision on the matter until it receives the assessment report from the MCMC.

He said the Ministry was adopting a neutral approach in this matter and would not be affected by the decisions made by United States and Canada in banning Huawei from building its 5G network facilities on their soil, with accusations of cyber espionage.

“The Ministry will not make any decision as the assessment is still ongoing, but we have to bear in mind that 80 per cent of the telcos providing broadband services are using Huawei technology,” he added.