Friday, July 28, 2006

Appendix

We have posted all our entries in different weeks, and hence, our blog is structured in a way whereby the most recent entry come before the earlier entries.

Contents of Our ITLG Blog:
1. Introduction to Weblogs
2. Chronology of Events / Development of Weblogs
3. Blogging Code of Ethics (Singapore)4. Weblog Ethics Survey Results
5. Blogging in Singapore (News and Cases)
6. Singapore - Sedition Act (Chapter 290)
7. Resolving the Legal Implications of Blogging
8. Our Conclusions & Reflections
9. Podcast on Blogs

Word Count:
2,930 words
excluding title, time and date displays, and this entry.

We thank all who have put in effort in making this project a success, and especially our lecturer and tutor, Mr. Steven Lim, who made no painless efforts in reminding us of the project due date every week, and for his guidance.

Thank you, all!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

9. Podcast on Blogs

We have created two versions of our very own podcast - the Male and Female versions!
Please click on "Male" to listen to the male version, and "Female" for the female version!

Sit back, and enjoy! (Please be patient as it may take some time to load.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

8. Our Conclusions & Reflections

Our group came up with our individual conclusions and reflections. Read on!

Elisha:
Blogs have promoted another avenue for "freedom of speech", as many begin to speak what they have in mind of almost anything under the sun.
Probably one issue of blogging is the inability of bloggers to differentiate between private and public blogging. Typing a key word on any of the Search Engines (e.g. Google) returns results of many websites, which includes blogging sites. In fact, anyone can access to your blog by just one click away.
Three people had been convicted under the Sedition Act in Singapore last year, because of the lack of awareness of the legal issues of blogging.
I believe that even though now the legal concerns have been brought up, bloggers should also learn to blog ethically, not just legally.
The community of bloggers ought to share one common belief and practice - to blog legally and ethically.

Leslie:
Every IT savvy person should know that a blog, at least, is like an online diary. And it was only when I started working on this project before learning that a blog is more than just a diary. It is amazing how corporate companies are using blogs as a knowledge management system to share information.
It is another avenue to express one's thoughts and share knowledge. This is where the issue of ethics come into place. Often the thin fine line that separates right from wrong is not clearly defined in the cyber world. We only learnt more about the "rules and regulations" when people are prosecuted for their remarks and comments.

Personally, I believe the grey area in blogosphere would always exist.

Kelvin:
As technology advances, it makes life easier for everyone. However, there are legal and ethical issues in making full advantage of the technology. The legal aspect is clear and straight forward, but there is this grey and blurred area of ethical issues that create discussion and disagreement.
In this project, we looked at the ethical issues of blogging, with deep understanding and research.
The ethical issues are often controversial as it is difficult for us to interpret what is right, and what is wrong.
Thus in doing this project, we have a deeper understanding – the line that separates the legal border and ethics border are often thin. We might not be breaking the law, but at the same time we might be crossing the border of ethical issues which makes us no different from people who cross the legal line.

Alan:
The establishment of well-structured blogging spaces has spurred countless bloggers in this striving creation. However, no particularly strong code of practice, rules and regulations are in place to curb and restrict the harmful effects of Weblogs. It is a trade off, a package for certain benefits as well as hazards.
As with all things, it would take time before mature legal and ethical Weblog rules are being set up. The definition of ethics and morale reminds a controversial issue in a dynamic reality.

Education plays an important role in forming the future. Through education, government hopes to achieve the ability to think among individuals. Ethics are therefore formed when humans see the common good.

Well, lessons aside.
Overall, we find ITLG an interesting module, where we learnt things in a different way, such as using blogs for our research (rather than a report), podcast (which is our first time doing that in our poly life), and exhibiting our project at the library (with much creativity put in).
We think that using blog as a means to present our findings is a good resource, because we are "glued" to the Internet most of the time, and we can just link something on our blog if we find an interesting article (of course citing necessary references), by just a click away.
As the first batch of students doing ITLG, we hope that we will thus provide a "framework" of what ITLG really is all about, and that the future students of this module will walk the same path, however, with better and greater achievements.
One of the most enriching modules ever! =)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

7. Resolving the Legal Implications of Blogging

To resolve the legal issues of blogging, there is a need to create awareness for all bloggers (in Singapore especially), of the legal issues arising from their online diaries, particularly in the light of the recent cases involving seditious remarks made online by bloggers that resulted in jail terms and fines.

The following are ways to prevent from flouting the law, by blogging "legally", as published by Law Gazette, an official publication of the Law of Society of Singapore:

Thou Shalt Not Defame or Spread Malicious Falsehood
- Comment positively and truthfully
- Avoid identifying names
- Set a password for your blog, only giving access to people whom you trust

Thou Shalt Not Negligently Miscommunicate
- Verify the accuracy of the information being put up so as to avoid negligent mis-statements which may expose one to a negligence lawsuit

Thou Shalt Not Breach Thy Contract
- Contract for sale or services (familiarise yourself with the Electronics Transactions Act (Cap 88) if you wish to sell products or services on your blog)
- Employment (not advisable to blog in the office, as you may be sued for breach of confidentiality or breach of your employment contract or of your duties as an employee)
- Confidence and privacy (avoid revealing information that you are contractually bound to keep confidential, especially work-related matters)

Thou Shall Not Steal
- Bloggers must beware of intellectual property right infringement
- Do not upload music files or provide links to illegal download sites (copyright infringement)
- When hyperlinking or quoting, give credits to the original creators or authors
- Avoid copying logos and trademarks

Thou Shalt Not Commit Crimes
- Do not make serious threats to others, or upload pornographic or other offensive or objectionable materials or images, online (doing so would mean commiting an offence contained in the Penal Code (Cap 224), which contains the general criminal offences in Singapore)
- Do not spread viruses or worms, or do anything against the Computer Misuse Act (Cap 50A)
- Do not make seditious remarks (such as racist postings) online in contravention of the Sedition Act (Cap 290)
- To be extra safe, act according to rules of good conscience and decency and inculcate good netiquette

Source:
Bloggers Beware: The Five Commandments for Bloggers
http://www.lawgazette.com.sg/2005-11/Nov05-feature1.htm

Monday, July 17, 2006

6. Singapore - Sedition Act (Chapter 290)

The three bloggers (Benjamin Koh, Nicholas Lim and Gan Huai Shi), who were convicted for posting racist remarks on their blogs last year, flouted the Sedition Act (Chapter 290) of Singapore.

We now take a closer look at the Sedition Act.

Seditious tendency.
3. — (1) A seditious tendency is a tendency —

(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;

(b) to excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure in Singapore, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;

(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Singapore;

(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;

(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.

One is liable for an offence should he commit any of the above mentioned.

For more information on the Sedition Act (Chapter 290), do visit Singapore Statutes OnLine!

Source:
Singapore Statutes OnLine - Sedition Act (Chapter 290)
http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/

Monday, July 10, 2006

5. Blogging in Singapore (News and Cases)

There have been many cases of defamation in Singapore, and people facing legal consequences for their inability to distinct between private and public blogging which involves expression of opinions and views.

We highlight a few cases in Singapore whereby legal actions were taken for online bloggers against their racist and offensive comments.

They were convicted under the Sedition Act (Chapter 290) in Singapore.

7th October 2005
Singapore Jailed Two Men For Making Racist Remarks about the Singapore Malay Muslims on their Blogs
The charges:
Benjamin Koh, 27, was jailed for one month.
Nicholas Lim, 25, was jailed for a day and fined $5k.

23rd November 2005
Third Racist Blogger Sentenced to 24 Months Supervised Probation
The charges:
Gan Huai Shi, 17, was given 24 months of supervised probation.
He will face the following during this period.
- Psychological evaluation
- Counselling sessions
- Post a $10,000 bond
- 180 hours of community service in Malay welfare homes

Two other cases where the bloggers were not convicted:

5th May 2005
Singapore Student Shuts Down Blog After Threat of Legal Action
Chen Jiahao, a former Public Service Commission scholar, who is pursuing his postgraduate studies in the United States, shut down his blog after he was threatened with legal actions by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).
His public blog contained defamatory statements about A*Star's scholarship system and some of its policies requiring scholars to meet certain standards.
Chen claimed he was threatened with legal action, in emails from A*STAR's chairman Philip Yeo.
The blog was shut down last month.
In its place is a note from Chen, under his blog name of AcidFlask, apologizing for making remarks "which Mr Yeo felt were defamatory to him and A*Star".
He also promised not to mention the agency or Mr Yeo by name again at the website.

21st July 2006
Warning for Blogger who Posted Cartoon of Christ
A 21-year-old blogger, who flouted the Sedition Act by putting up an offensive cartoon of Jesus Christ on his blog has been let off with a warning, putting an end to an investigation that lasted more than three months.
In an e-mail statement, a police spokesman said: "After careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, in consultation with the Attorney-General's Chambers, we have decided to issue a stern warning to the offender in lieu of prosecution."
The man, who calls himself "Char", describes himself as an "ex-Christian-turned-free thinker", could have been jailed for up to three years, fined $5,000, or both, if convicted.
He was hauled up by police in March after they received a complaint from a person about a cartoon he had posted on his blog, or Internet journal, depicting Jesus as a zombie biting off a boy's head.
He is not the first blogger to escape jail time here for posting material deemed to be offensive to other races and religions.

Sources:
Singapore Statutes OnLine - Sedition Act (Chapter 290)
http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/

Thinking with Logic
http://scientificthinking.blogspot.com/

Chemical Generation Singapore
http://chemgen.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_chemgen_archive.html

Channelnewasia.com - Singapore Student Shuts Down Blog After Threat of Legal Action
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/145936/1/.html

AsiaMedia - Singapore: Warning for Blogger who Posted Cartoon of Christ

http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=49563