Law and Digital Politics
The new foreign interference law:
A new Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act
has been introduced in Parliament. If passed, it will give the Singapore government the power to remove, change, or block “hostile” online information. As with POFMA, the bill’s impact on the shape of electronic communications will be noteworthy.
Sedition Act Repeal:
The passage of more recent laws, such as POFMA has lessened the relevance of the Sedition Act, according to a bill introduced in Parliament to repeal it
. However, with the Sedition Act’s repeal, the Criminal Procedure Code will be amended to make “ the deliberate wounding of any person’s religious or racial feelings” and “the promotion of disharmony” arrestable offences.
Yale-NUS Closure: read below for a compilation of recent analysis and commentary.
Manipulating Review Platforms:
A Japanese restaurant in Singapore discovered that their negative online reviews it was receiving were actually their competitors trying to sabotage them
Security and Surveillance
Autonomous Robots Patrolling the Heartland:
This three week trial
marks the first time “that an autonomous robot is being used to patrol and survey a public area with high foot traffic to enhance public health and safety”.
Given that Zaobao is the Mandarin broadsheet of record in Singapore, it—and the views it espouses—dominates the Mandarin-reading market in the country. The only serious newspaper available offers only one set of views, depriving Mandarin-reading Singaporeans of access to debates in the Sinosphere that are in fact much more nuanced.
Throughout this report, we explore – using case studies and accompanying commentary – a range of mechanisms for achieving participatory decision-making around the design, development and use of data-driven systems and data-governance frameworks. This report provides evidence that involving people in the way data is used can support greater social and economic equity, and rebalance asymmetries of power.
Consultancy Role for Digital Rights in SEA:
Digital Reach SEA is looking for a research consultant for their annual report on “Digital Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia”. Read about the vacancy here.
UPDATE: Due to the volume of important news relating to digital politics in Singapore, we will be releasing our internet round-up every two weeks instead of every month!