Internet Politics: Surveillance and Intimidation in Singapore

Internet Politics: Surveillance And Intimidation In Singapore
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Opposition leaders said the new law was designed to curb their efforts to reach out to the electorate via the Internet amid widespread speculation that polls would be held well before the August deadline Wong, Its strictures constrained opposition parties from actively campaigning on the Internet during the Upper House election, but non-traditional political actors and individuals emerged in the campaign milieu, signaling an important trend.

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All of these circumvented the POEL. Unlike legislation in Singapore, the POEL did not cover email communications, giving political parties and some candidates the leeway to send email bulletins to subscribed members throughout the official election period during the Upper House election Tkach-Kawasaki, The high number of broadband subscribers in Korea has made the use the Internet by political parties and politicians common place. Home pages of political parties, politicians, citizen groups become especially active during election campaigns.

However the law says little about the Internet and politics during campaign periods and this gave rise to some problems in the presidential campaign. In Korea, online politics has attracts a high level of citizen and civic group participation. However, this was seen as being out of synch with developments in new technology. Hence, but unlike Singapore or Japan, plans were made for positive legislation to be passed in to enable more online politicking during electoral campaign periods.

Repressive nations threaten jail terms, restrict Internet to silence press

Chia, S. Cobia, J. International Journal of Cyber Criminology. Hence, people prefer to keep important information confidential and exchange in a low-tech or no tech manner. Metrics Metrics Loading For years, as civil society actors like Citizen Lab have documented, commercial surveillance technology has ended up in the hands of repressive governments to target, silence and crush dissent, with little to no transparency, accountability, oversight or redress.

Nevertheless, discrimination against online news portals remains. For instance it is well-known that government offices' press clubs are not open to Internet reporters Kyu, According to the officials these records will help track down terrorists by making emails easier to trace and will help to promote security. The government announced that monitoring Internet use is necessary for Pakistan's anti- terrorism efforts.

In Bombay, Indian police are proposing a regulation requiring customers to show photo identification and give their addresses whenever they patronise any of the city's cybercafes. Cybercafe owners would have to retain these records for up to a year and show them to police on request. The proposal is to be presented in February to the Maharashtra state government Badam, Authorities are fearful that terrorists and other criminals are taking advantage of cybercafes to communicate via email and the Internet, and the police have enlisted the help of technology experts and Internet service providers to trace emails in order to track down terrorists.

Although very few countries regulate Internet cafes it certainly is an emerging trend. Other countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, are preparing legislation to exercise control over users of communication devices and services. The Philippines' draft Anti-terrorism Bill proposes to sanction arrests without court orders, initiate day detentions without change, among others. It would also allow the Secretary of Justice to authorize wiretaps, including those of Internet communications Privacy International and the GreenNet Educational Trust, In order for wiretaps to work, there needs to be a certain amount of co-operation between law-enforcement agencies, telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers, in cases where the authorities want to monitor certain user accounts.

No one is sure of the extent of this cooperation Pabico, This explains why Mobile Patrol Group MPG policeman traced a 17 year old who call up a police station with a bomb threat in late Hence, the police where able to go to the house of the teenager and traced the prankster. They can thus intercept an individual's emails and tap people's telephones Luwarso, Apart from law, terrorism has also led to the use of high-tech tracking devices in search and arrest of terrorist suspects.

In late , Indonesian police using the technology which requires only seconds to identify the location of a cell-phone were able to arrest Imam Samudra who was latter confessed that he was the chief planner and coordinator of the Bali bombings Time, 2 December It was reported again in mid that the use of similar mobile-phone tracking technology by the Indonesian police was the reason why several members of the Jemmah Islamiah easily tracked and arrested following the Bali bombings TimeAsia, 5 May Which implies even the movement of the Internet onto handheld devices can be effectively put under surveillance and traced.

Most of the cyber security conferences in Asia deal with issues like e-commerce, virus protection, prevention of hacker attacks and a safe online business environment for companies and their customers.

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It can also include issues such as cyber stalking, Internet hour theft, data theft, cyber blackmail, defamation of individuals and nations, and corporate espionage. Since September 11 however, capacity-building to counter cyber criminals has been stepped up in the region through a series of cyber security conferences that are often supported by the United States but jointly organised with the various local partners. Other examples of cyber security networking include a conference on strengthening international law enforcement cooperation to deal with cyber crime, held in July by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC e-Security Task Group.

The three primary objectives of the conference were: assisting countries to develop legal frameworks necessary to combat computer crime; to promote the development of law enforcement investigative units with the training and equipment needed to investigate and deter computer crime; and to enhance understanding and cooperation between industry and law enforcement in order to better address the threat of computer crime APEC, 25 July Businesses are also being encouraged to work with law enforcement agencies to investigate cyber crime APEC, 8 Oct Such measures although aimed at cyber criminals, hackers and virus authors, can be used to prosecute pranksters and legitimate cyber activists.

Hence it is no surprise that on September 19, , the Association of South East Asian Nations agreed to intensify its efforts to fight cyber crime, hackers and computer viruses. ASEAN plans to intensify and expand the information sharing in the coming years. This work program includes fighting cyber crime through online exchange of information on cyber crime activities via the ASEAN Secretariat as well as the sharing and analysis of critical intelligence information.

Member countries also agreed to develop regional training programs and conferences to enhance existing capabilities in investigation intelligence, surveillance, detection and monitoring the Internet with regards to cyber crime. The Centre will facilitate information sharing on terrorists and their activities as well as conduct training sessions for police from Asia-Pacific countries in counter-terrorism skills Go, 6 Feb Twenty-five countries from the region were involved in the conference with high-level US participation.

However, one underlining concern of all the above capacity building is that such expertise might be abused by certain governments especially when the proper checks and balances are not built in to protect the privacy of individuals. Central to the success of control over Internet content is state ownership or regulation of ISPs, technologies that enable Internet users to be traced to their computers, and the increased inter-state pooling of surveillance information.

In Asian countries cyberspace is a realm for surveillance. Online surveillance is carried out by both governments and corporations. The governments of South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, for example, require Internet service providers to keep information on users and to help law enforcement agencies track their online activities.

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In Japan, the Communications Interception Law was passed in August , allowing law enforcement officials access to private e-mail accounts if they were investigating certain types of crime Williams, The purpose: to enable prosecutors to take action against those who log on to undersirable websites and to facilitate government authorities to block such sites.

Reporters Without Borders, Similarly, handheld devices such as mobile phones are not exempt from such surveillance. In Singapore, the perpetrator of an unintentional bomb hoax via a mobile phone's short messaging system, or SMS, was traced within two weeks of the incident. All of them store SMS messages in their servers or databases, for periods of time ranging from two days to a few weeks, before they are deleted The New Paper, , Noting trends in the USA and the European Union, the International Chamber of Commerce ICC has strongly criticized the attempts of governments all over the world to compel communication service providers to store end-user traffic data.

According to the ICC this practice is neither economically efficient nor effective for criminal investigation. The ICC expressed concerns about end-users privacy and recommended transparent and effective oversight procedures to prevent abuses and to protect user confidence. More importantly, it recognized that there has been insufficient public input and multi-lateral harmonization and felt that this could impair a competitive and dynamic communications and IT services market ICC, 4.

June Accountability and the protection of privacy, however, is inadequate Lyon, Com and its impact on journalism and politics in Malaysia. In Ho. Kenneth Eds. Crouch, H. Government and society in Malaysia. New York: Cornell University Press. Derichs, C. Political crisis and reform in Malaysia. Gomez Ed. Oxon: RoutledgeCurzon. George, C. Gomez, J. Internet politics: Surveillance and intimidation in Singapore. Singapore: Think Centre. New media and general elections: Online citizen journalism in Malaysia and Singapore. Holst, F. Adaptation and transformation: 'The Internet' - an alternative challenge to authoritarianism?

PE-bear, PE-sieve. Follow bunniestudios on Twitter.

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Bunnie is best known for his work hacking the Microsoft Xbox, as well as for his efforts in designing and manufacturing open source hardware, including the chumby app-playing alarm clock , chibitronics peel-and-stick electronics for craft , and Novena DIY laptop. He currently lives in Singapore where he runs Kosagi, a private product design studio. Follow CurlyCyber on Twitter. Aseel is a malware analyst at Check Point Research. She joined Check Point as a security analyst in Some of her work was presented at security conferences such as Virus Bulletin and Botconf.

Follow smoothimpact on Twitter. Kris leads our Cyber Threat Detection and Response team which comprises of highly specialised cyber security professionals. He is responsible for the delivery of our cyber threat response capabilities which enables clients to resist, detect and respond to advanced cyber attacks.

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Focusing on cyber crime, espionage investigations and technical countermeasures, his team is regularly called on to investigate and contain network intrusions and provide actionable threat intelligence to clients in crisis situations. Follow vkamluk on Twitter.

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Vitaly has been involved in malware research at Kaspersky Lab since He spent a year in Japan focusing on major local threats affecting the region. SAS Unplugged is an adjoining mini-conference providing workshops, presentations, technical classes, career advice, and interactive games and challenges. We are welcoming students, young talents and researchers, who just started their career in IT Security as well as matured enthusiasts who thrilled to learn what SAS is.

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