8 Jul 2006

SINGAPORE: Bloggers don't need to register after all

Yeah right!!! They will still have your IP address anyway!!! So...please take note of how to blog anonymously.

Big Brother can't ask you to register therefore we won't ask you to register. Regardless of what you think, we, Big Brother, ARE still in control.

Ask who to register? We are anonymous and you don't like that.

SINGAPORE: Bloggers don't need to register after all
National Internet Advisory Committee decides questionable material on blogs can be dealt with using existing laws

Straits TimesFriday, July 7, 2006

By Chua Hian Hou

An idea to make it a must for bloggers to register with a media watchdog has been abandoned because existing laws are deemed enough to rein in errant online diarists.

The wild popularity of blogs or online journals prompted the National Internet Advisory Committee to consider requiring their authors to register with the Media Development Authority (MDA).

Political and religious parties, Internet service providers, and online newspapers already come under this rule.

At last count in August last year, there were more than 22,000 Singapore blogs, according to a study by the Singapore Internet Research Centre.

Fortunately for bloggers here, the 27-member committee, which is made up of government officials, industry leaders and academics who advise the MDA on Internet and new media-related content issues, concluded that blogs were simply "old wine in new wine bottles" -- no different from websites or Web forums where people can post what they do or think.

In its ninth annual report, the committee said bloggers who put up material against "public and society interest" can be dealt with under existing laws.

It cited the examples of former government scholar Chen Jiahao, who had to apologise for his defamatory remarks, and three other bloggers who were convicted under the Sedition Act for racist remarks.

Blogger James Seng said he hopes the committee had not been "seriously thinking about registering bloggers." He pointed out that China tried to do it, but the enacted law was largely unenforceable -- and ignored. "In light of this, the committee's recommendation to drop the idea was a smart one," he said.

Today, only one in 10 blogs in China is registered, despite hefty penalties for flouting the law, according to Beijing-based media consultancy BDA China.

Another area that came up for debate by the committee was whether mass e-mail should be regulated under broadcasting laws.

The committee decided against it for now because e-mail is an "indispensable tool of communication for business and society" -- even if mass e-mail can "technically" be considered broadcasting.

Date Posted: 7/7/2006


5 comments:

soci said...

"Fortunately for bloggers here, the 27-member committee, which is made up of government officials, industry leaders and academics who advise the MDA on Internet and new media-related content issues, concluded that blogs were simply "old wine in new wine bottles" -- no different from websites or Web forums where people can post what they do or think.
"

you want to bet on that! We must not retreat, we must become anonymous, hide etc... We must attack these so called fucking reporters. Find out who they are and where they live...

The battle has only started!

teck soon said...

It is interesting how the paper reported Chen Jiahao's remarks as "defamatory". They were never proven defamatory in a court of law. Just because a PAP power boy in A*Star said they were defamatory does not make it so. And since Chen's remarks were forced from his website out of fear, not due process, the public at large will never know if they were truly defamatory or not. That the newspaper in Singapore says simply "defamatory" instead of "allegedly defamatory" is an example of extremely bad journalism.

alan said...

Like I will register if they tell me to! Hmmpf!

Matilah_Singapura said...

IP addresses are logged in every country, even by privately owned ISPs. Ever since the Patriot Act came into effect in the US, there has been more surveillance by govt on the citizens. And as long as there is "terrorism", rest assured there'll be state-sanctioned data gathering.

The FBI, for e.g. can track any computer connected to the net.

The question still boils down to what govts will do with all this information it gathers. Will it be used to "fight crime" or will it be used to limit the freedom of individuals.

Giving credit where credit is due, the S'pore govt has made the "right decision" to not bring in legislation for bloggers to register.

...BUT... that doesn't mean that they'll NEVER bring in such legislation.

AHA. A loophole, in the govt's favour.

Let's see what happens at the next election...

John Riemann Soong said...

Meh, I wish Chen Jiahao would not have withdrawn his comments. I'd have liked the government of Singapore to try to enforce their jurisdiction overseas.

A Blogger Registration Act might have been a good thing in the long run, namely because of the backlash from students. (I don't want to duplicate comments, as I've posted the explanation here already.)