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Opinion

The link between POFMA, ISA, and all of us

by Jason Soo On Wednesday 8 May 2019, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) was passed in Parliament with a majority of 72 to nine, with three abstentions. Welcome to a fate worse than Orwell’s 1984. We now have not one but 16 ministries of truth. During the period when POFMA had not yet been formalized into …

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Netizens praise Workers’ Party for their effort to stand against POFMA

On Wednesday (8 May), at around 10.20pm, the controversial Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA) was passed in Parliament after a heated debate that took place over the span of two days. A total of 72 Members of Parliament (MPs) voted for the Bill, while all nine Workers’ Party (WP) MPs and Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) voted against it. …

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Is PAP government building a 21st-century version of East Germany?

by Brad Bowyer “The Bill, therefore, recognises that platforms that are closed are not necessarily private. They can be used not only for personal and private communications but also to communicate with hundreds or thousands of strangers at a time.” So exactly how does a small encrypted closed private discussion group become a platform to communicate with thousands of strangers? …

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Netizens express sadness over the passing of fake news law in Parliament

After a two-day debate that lasted slightly over 14 hours, the controversial Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA) has been passed in Parliament on Wednesday (8 May). A total of 74 Members of Parliament (MPs) supported the Bill, while nine MPs comprising those from Workers’ Party (WP) and Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs) went against it. However, one Nominated MP …

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The curious case of empathy and its glaring absence in Singapore

by James Leong What do the Monica Baey saga, Aloysius Pang’s death and a Japanese restaurant in Singapore have in common? None of them knows empathy. I don’t like fussing over birthdays, particularly mine, but I do like Japanese food and found a restaurant inviting birthday peeps to eat for free on their birthday month —provided they dine with a …

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Educational journey of the passage of POFMA

by Teo Soh Lung I was in parliament yesterday expecting the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation bill (POFMA) to be passed. The absence of so many People’s Action Party (PAP) ministers and Members of Parliament (MP)s, however, cast a doubt in my mind. Wouldn’t they want a full house to vote for the bill? It would be a great …

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Fait Accompli but it does not have to be a story of betrayal

by Brad Bowyer Fait Accompli, a thing that has already happened or been decided upon before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it. Yes, we had the theatre of the Committee, which included the grilling of any who wanted to share their POV as though they were criminals in a court of law, …

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Netizens displeased after hearing POFMA will be applied on closed platforms like chat groups and social media groups

Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong said in Parliament on Tuesday (7 May) that the proposed Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA) will cover closed communications platforms such as private chat groups and social media groups, as well as those with end-to-end encryption that only permits messages to be exchanged between senders and receivers. While speaking …

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