Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference: personal notes

Last week’s conference organized by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa) in cooperation with the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) with the support of the Berkman Center Center for Internet and Society offered me a chance to meet bloggers and journalists from all over Asia.

With Sheila Coronel
Time flew so fast for the conference–an indication that I found it very interesting–that I found myself back at the airport in what appeared to be merely a day after stepping out of it.

I met Portnoy, a blogger from Taiwan, who asked for advice in choosing which Lucky Me instant cup noodle to bring back to his girlfriend. I picked my favorites: La Paz Batchoy and Palabok. He couldn’t have found a more knowledgeable conference delegate as instant noodles and sandwiches are common blogging and writing food for me–these are efficient to eat and the simplest to prepare especially if you’�re chasing a tight deadline.

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The glass cannot be half-full

Either there is press freedom or not, according to Sun.Stars pooled editorial.

The editorial points out the danger of making police the evaluators of media.

Why do cops make poor evaluators? They dont know the craft and its nuances. Their mind-set is that of victims, whipped frequently by media for lapses and offenses.

The paper (disclosure: I work for Sun.Star Cebu) says “The Government cannot claim to be free and democratic when it gags media by threats of takeover or shutdown.”

Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency in the country has been described as a harmless weapon that should not instill fear among the law-abiding.

We disagree. It is a lethal weapon in the hands of those who exceed or abuse the power–out of ignorance, spite, or meanness.

Read the full article here.

Cafe chain pushes censorship body for Philippine Internet

Please excuse me while I puke.

Netopia, according to this article, is “urging” the government to create a censorship body to monitor the local Internet infrastructure. An official of the Internet cafe chain says the body “will operate similarly to the Movies Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and provide guidelines for the compliance of Internet service providers.”

Netopia President Raymond Ricafort told “The government can discourage users from visiting indecent web sites in the same manner that they discourage adult films.”

Mr. Ricafort, if the government will discourage us from visiting sites in the same manner that they have been labeling certain films as “for adults only” then we’re fucked. And how, in Torquemada’s name, can you impose “decency” in the local Web infrastructure? By playing Big Brother and monitoring the traffic? How will you “prevent pornographic materials from being distributed through local ISPs?”

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