WE ONLY HAVE A VOICE IF WE ARE WILLING TO USE IT
for Cyber Safety & Standards
Singapore has recently been ranked #2 in the world for cyber bullying incidents per capita, right after China. 58% of Singaporean students surveyed have reported some kind of cyber bullying experience during their school years. In response to the sudden surge, Singapore has become one of the first countries to offer legal protection against cyber-bullying with the introduction of a new bill known as the Protection from Harassment Bill. The new bill makes it illegal to stalk someone in the cyber world or the physical world with offenses carrying up to $4,000 in fines or a jail sentence of up to 1 year, or both. The proposals would also strengthen the law on existing offenses of harassment and the threat or provocation of violence, by making the same standards of what constitutes harassment in the physical world an offense online as well.
According to the Singapore Ministry of Law, harassment acts committed outside Singapore would be punishable in certain circumstances. For example, if an offender was in Singapore and committed cyber stalking on someone who is overseas, the offense of stalking would still apply. The bill also provides for a range of self-help measures, civil remedies and criminal sanctions to help victims combat harassment. For example, victims will have the right to apply to the court for a Protection Order requiring harassers to desist from doing anything which may cause them further harm. The court will have the power to grant an Expedited Protection Order to protect victims in cases of urgency. Expedited Protection Orders give the power to order third parties to take down material and also to order offenders to go for counseling. If false allegations have been made against a victim, and the victim can prove in court they are false, the court can direct "suitable notification" to alert readers to the facts. The form of notification would be at the discretion of the courts.