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9/04/2008

What's the fuss?

I did not really follow the on goings on what Aims were trying to do, to regulate the internet, when the govt is talking about liberalisation. What Aims is trying to do and what the govt is trying to do appear to be contradictory. One argument is that you need rules before you can run free. Quite true. But rules are aplenty and is all we got. We have rules and laws against sedition, scandals, libels, pornography, false or misleading information and also the mother of all laws, ISA. What more do we need? The only area that is really troubling the authority is political openess. How much can one say against a political party, in this case the ruling party. The simple line to be drawn, or has always been there, is truth and facts. If you are telling the truth, then why fear the truth, why ban the truth? Admittedly, two persons' truth may disagree, my truth against your tooth. Often such things will be a matter of interpretation or opinion. But the truth must be the truth and not the tooth. So what is the big fuss? We should know better. My position thus, is still the same. There are already enough rules and laws to regulate the internet. And everyone is responsible for his postings and can be hauled up by the law or another party to answer for his rambling. A little fine tuning of the current laws may be necessary to take into account this new technology, terminology and how it works. What the blogging community should worry about is how the laws are to be applied and whether they are fair and just. Then again, how to be fair and just when what is fair is in the eyes of the beholder or the one holding the big stick? Can the opposition party organise a cycling event? Oh yes. But would it get a permit to go ahead?

7 comments:

Aaron said...

Hi redbear

I'm from AIMS and I read with interest your take on our report.

I hope you managed to get a copy of our report. It can be found at our website, www.aims.org.sg.

Actually we are arguing for a liberalisation of the laws here. Among other things, we are looking at dismantling the need to register sites that participate in political and religious discussion. We are also talking about lifting the ban on 100 sites and liberalising the films act.

So if you have time, I hope you can drop by and discuss further our report. Thanks much!

redbean said...

hi aaron,

thanks for dropping by and welcome to the blog.

it is good that govt agencies are engaging the bloggers directly. i have read some of the reports in the media.

i know that you people have a job to do and the stated objectives are quite healthy. my main position is minimal rules other than those that are criminal, seditious, or things that are dangerous to order and security. and in these areas, there are already ample provisions in our existing laws except for those that are technically specific and new to the nature of the internet.

the area that is tricky are probably political postings and materials which the govt in power will feel uncomfortable with and would want to manage to their advantage. it will take a lot of convincing and reasoning, and openness to accept and allow a more equal playing field for all parties, esp political parties, to have their fair say.

right of reply, right to clarify, should be the guiding principles than just banning outright. it will encourage and give opportunities for dialogue and exchange of views.

the other areas like pornography, crimes or libels etc should be easy to deal with as no one will disagree with you.

just a few points on what i feel.

cheers.

Anonymous said...

There are rules for organising cycling events, one for the rulers and one for the ruled.

Aaron said...

Oops just realised I typed redbear instead of redbean

I agree with your points. And I think we are trying to achieve what you have raised, especially in the political arena. We do believe intrinsically in the need for political engagement; and this can only come about if rules governing political speech online is relaxed.

Otherwise there will be no dialogue to begin with.

redbean said...

ok aaron, i will go back and read the assumptions of your paper and give you my feedback.

given that hsien loong has intent to open up, we should help him to define the issues and remove some of the old assumptions.

we are entering a new world and a bit more relax in how we treat our people, especially the opposition parties, will be most welcomed. it will bring a new ethos and goodwill among all the politicians and remove the sharp edges. they cut and are very painful.

redbean said...

hi aaron,

i have posted my comments in The Aims Paper above.

cheers.

kaffein said...

Actually the only I want to say to AIMS is this:

You can't take control of what you don't own.

Cheers,
Kaffein