Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Securing political investments through censorship

I try to extensively blog on various privacy and Internet censorship related issues affecting different parts of the world, or provide comments on the big picture they way I see it.

Spending millions -- 6 million euro here, and I guess you also wouldn't let someone spread the word whether the cover is fancy enough for a vote or not -- on political campaigns to directly or indirectly influence the outcome of an election, is a common practice these days. Whereas, trying to build a wall around a government's practices is like having a tidal wave of comments smashing it. I recently came across the following article : "

"Singapore has reminded its citizens that web users who post commentary on upcoming elections could face prosecution. Election commentary is tightly controlled under Singaporean law; independent bloggers may comment on the election, but must register their site with the Media Development Authority (MDA)."

I'm so not into politics -- and try not to -- but threatening with prosecution on commentary, registering users, while not first "introducing yourself" as "During the November 2001 elections, Singapore's political parties limited their use of the Internet to posting schedules and candidate backgrounds." isn't the smartest long-term political strategy ever, don't you think?

More resources on the state of censorship in Singapore worth checking out are :

Internet Filtering in Singapore in 2004- 2005: A Country Study
EFF "Censorship - Singapore" Archive
Censorship in Singapore
To Net or Not to Net: Singapore’s Regulation of the Internet
Censorship Review Committee 2002/2003
The Internet and Political Control in Singapore

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