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A group of bloggers, led by Choo Zheng Xi and Alex Au, sent a 20-page proposal to the Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang, today (April 21, 2008). The paper , titled “Proposals for Internet freedom in Singapore”, expresses the bloggers’ concerns about Internet regulation in Singapore and offers proposals for the government to consider in its current review of such regulations.

1.3 Executive Summary
a) All regulation of speech should be platform-neutral. Laws and regulations
specific to the Internet, such as the Class Licence Scheme and the
Internet Content Guidelines, should be abolished, as should the powers
conferred on the Media Development Authority (MDA) to ban and
penalise producers of content and owners of websites.

b) What regulation there needs to be should be based on clear, narrowlytailored statutes and prosecution, not through administrative discretion.

c) However, only in extremis should there be prosecution, and only in
instances where public safety is directly undermined. Otherwise,
community moderation is the way forward, and to this end a consultative
body (IC3) should be constituted.

d) Limitation and regulation of political content is unjustified in principle and
unrealistic in practice. The attempt to do so impairs Singapore’s maturity
as a nation. The freedom to use the Internet to discuss political issues
and promote political views should be guaranteed.

e) Racially and religiously offensive speech should not be proscribed by
law; only incitement to injury and violence. Offensive speech should be
handled through the community moderation (e.g. the consultative body)
marshalling public opinion towards sensitivity and rationality.

f) The depiction of sex and violence should not be proscribed by law except
when minors are involved in sexual situations, or real injury to
participants or coercion took place during the making of such depiction.
Matters of taste and offence to moral sensibilities should be mediated
through community moderation, such as the consultative body.

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