How to act on the Protection from Harassment Act

Mar 13, 2014 11.18PM |
 

I thought the opposition MPs would come out hammer and tongs against the Protection from Harassment Bill, but only WP’s Pritam Singh spoke up, at least according to news reports. And he’s more concerned about whether journalists staking out funeral wakes would be viewed as stalkers!

The only one that I can tell from reading MSM who referred to online unease was PAP’s Zaqy Mohammad who said: “I support this as long as it’s not a tool to be used in any manner to censor information and responsible views, alternative as they may be, on the Internet.’’

What’s the reassurance? Well, anyone can go apply for a protection order but the courts will have to decide on the “reasonableness’’ of the application…So I guess I can continue poking fun at people in the cause of wit! Yay!

More pertinent to the online community, especially the nasty, terrible trolls out to hurt and think they can continue to do so with anonymous handles like satandevil123….

From ST quoting Law Minister Shanmugam: Where the identity of the publisher cannot be ascertained, such a person may be identified by his username or account, Internet location address, website or email address. It is not necessary for victims to discover the real name of a publisher before seeking a protection order.

And what happens then?

From ST: If the offensive content contravenes certain clauses and a protection order can be made, as part of the protection order, the court can order that no person can publish or continue to publish an offending communication. This would include requiring the removal of the offending content and for there to be no further publication of that content.

And what if it’s already gone viral?

From TODAY: If victims discover more people re-posting the relevant material after a protection order is granted, the same order will require those individuals to remove the posts.

And what if you can’t get an order for some reason or don’t want to go that far…

Supposing the offensive content does not cross the threshold set out in the clauses for a protection order to be made or if, for some reason, the victim… wishes to proceed with a lesser remedy, in either of those situations, the victim can obtain a court order under Clause 15 of the Bill to make sure that the falsehood is set right and the true facts are brought out clearly.

 

This article was first published at berthahenson.wordpress.com.