Monday, June 17, 2013

Who sets the agenda in Singapore?

This is, of course, a rhetorical question. Is there any doubt that the gahmen is the one who sets the agenda in Singapore?

The main stream gahmen controlled media is just one of the tools by which the gahmen achieves this objective. The relatively free-wheeling websites that regularly report and comment on Singapore issues via the internet are increasingly brought to heel under new media licensing regulations. Gigamole thinks the gahmen correctly anticipated that all the blustery protestations would eventually be dissipated and come to naught. And indeed it has. Will these new regulations change things? Or strengthen the gahmen's hand in setting the agenda? Only time will tell. But Gigamole thinks it will merely buy some time for the gahmen. Maybe that's all that's required. In time the websites will some way to stay beyond the reach of gahmen's control. In fact, it may in time become much more antagonistic and difficult for the gahmen to control. For the moment, perhaps that's enough.

But this is only part of the story. The bluster over the new media regulations was in fact a distraction from the more important issues that Singaporeans must face up to.

Until recently, we had only kinda guessed at big gahmens spying on the public. Mostly these were nice stories for telling in Hollywood movies. But the recent revelation by the American whistleblower Edward Snowden, about how extensive and intrusive the US gahmen had actually implemented this spying has brutally forced the issue into the public consciousness. Is this something that only affects Americans? Gigamole does not think so. The lack of any substantive response from other gahmens to these revelations is quite telling. In particular, note the absolute silence from the Singapore Gahmen. What has also been disappointing has been the absolute silence from our local activists. Maybe they have already been cowed by the new media regulations. But surely they must be concerned? Or maybe they are just concerned about their own websites? Surely our opposition party MPs must stand up and ask that million dollar question of our gahmen.... do they request information from Google, Twitter and Facebook, and our ISPs? Have they ever requested? Don't we want a categorical statement from the gahmen that they do not spy on us? And if they do conduct surveillance, what and who regulates the extent to which they can intrude into our internet lives?

How come no one is asking?

But again, this may also be just the tip of yet another iceberg. Peter Ludlow recently wrote a great opinion piece in the New York Times titled "The Real War on Reality" where he refers to an ongoing "epistemic warfare". Gigamole would really recommend you read this commentary.

Yes, gahmens do set the agenda. And they do this not only by controlling the main stream media.

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