Critical National Information Infrastructure, CNII (also known as Information Technology)

In the proposed Malaysia’s Computing Professionals Bill 2011, the term Critical National Information Infrastructure, or CNII refers to:

those assets, systems and functions that are vital to the nation that their incapacity or destruction would have a devastating impact on National economic strength or National image or National defense and security or Government capability to function or Public health and safety.

An IT asset, system and function can be considered as CNII as long as it is vital to the nation. How vital? As long as it is vital enough to cause a devastating impact to the country as the result of its incapacity or destruction.

We know digitalization is inevitable across the globe. IT systems are playing more and more significant and mission critical role in all facets of society, including the way we conduct commerce, the way country defends against threats, health care management, and many more.

As more and more IT systems eventually become vital to the nation, CNII will soon refer to the entire IT industry in Malaysia.

So, does the use of “CNII” in the proposed Act a trojan horse merely act to placate immediate resistance but a sinister long-term intention to exert control over the Malaysian IT industry? Where and how can the government draw the line?

Alleviating the professionalism within the IT industry is a good intention. With pervasive digitalization, the status of IT workers too have been alleviated, at par with other professionals like doctors, civil engineers, architects, etc. In the name of professionalism, the proposed Act will impose control, rules and regulations.

But IT geeks and nerds are The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules

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