Many of you have already read about MDA's decision to license online "news sites" and within a week, made it a low.

Of course, Singapore Netizens were enraged and engaged to do something about it.

They launched the #FreeMyInternet movement, called for a blogosphere black out (See Youtube below) and a protest at Hong Lim Park on 8th June 2013.


I attended the protest and was quite inspired by the speakers. The speakers, consisted mainly of bloggers, who were concerned, not only about MDA's online "news sites" licensing scheme, and at the speed at which it became law, without consultation with Parliament or with the Public.

Tourists surprised by the "authoritarian" MDA

The other problem of this new licensing scheme is so vague that it encompass any news about Singapore, except news created by the Government. As one speaker at #FreeMyInternet said, "Even if you post about photos of cockroaches on the MRT, it is considered as news, and under the law, this post can be served a take down notice within 24 hours."

You might need to have a license to post photos of your grumpy cat  in Singapore.

MDA has come out to say that bloggers should continue blogging and air their views. Even one of their Ministers, who is not a Minister handling communications, appeared on national TV to explain the new ruling. However, his words wasn't that reassuring as at the end of the show, 73.9% polled that the license would limit online news content, up from 50% when the show started. 

Paying her last respects to "Freedom of Speech"

The good that came up of this MDA ruling is that more Singaporeans, even as young as 15, are now starting to speak out why the one rule to rule all of Singapore news online sites is a bad idea and how controlling it can be to the creative process. 

The #FreeMyInternet movement also announced that they will continue " to call for the withdrawal of the Licensing Regime". 

Wrote the #FreeMyInternet Press Release,

In addition, there is much more public awareness that needs to be done. Because of the manner in which the Licensing Regime was slipped into legislation, there has been very little opportunity to educate the public on why the Licensing Regime is so dangerous.

In the weeks to come, we will roll out material and programmes to educate members of the public and Members of Parliament about why the Licensing Regime needs to be withdrawn.

We do not rule out a dialogue with the government, but this dialogue needs to be a discussion on how the withdrawal of the Licensing Regime will take place, and should be a dialogue about how de-regulating the media environment can best be done to benefit Singaporeans.

As such, stay calm and keep on blogging. Share what you can to help the #FreeMyInternet movement create more awareness on this "Licensing Regime".

#FreeMyInternet Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/FreeMyInternet




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