箝制還是保障言論自由?一次看懂新加坡反假新聞法案 | Singapore’s fake news law comes into effect

Critics had feared the law would be used to curb free speech, even if decisions arising from it would come under court and judicial review. (Shutterstock)
Critics had feared the law would be used to curb free speech, even if decisions arising from it would come under court and judicial review. (Shutterstock)

【看英文中國郵報學英文】新加坡試圖打擊假新聞的新法案《防止網路假信息和網路操縱法案》於今(2)日生效,如果被認定為假新聞,民眾可以花最低兩百新加坡幣(約4470台幣)對於政府官員認定之假新聞提出上訴,並且法院會在最快九天內審理。

It could cost as little as S$200 and take as fast as 9 days for people to challenge a minister’s decision under Singapore’s fake news laws, which takes effect on Wednesday.

《防止網路假信息和網路操縱法案》的附屬法例裡,允許民眾對已被認定為假訊息的案件提出上訴。民眾提出上訴的費用及上訴程序是國會在研議法案時的癥結點之一。

The cost and speed of the appeals process, which were among the sticking points at the parliamentary debate on the proposed legislation, have been set out in the subsidiary legislation of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma).

在此新法規定下,新加坡官員可以認定網路上的資訊是否為假訊息,並要求平台將其移除或更正。

Under the new law, Singapore’s ministers can decide whether to act against a piece of falsehood on the Internet, and can order that it be taken down or ask for corrections to be put up alongside it.

在此新法規定下,新加坡總理可以認定網路上的資訊是否為假訊息,並要求平台將其移除或更正。| Under the new law, Singapore’s ministers can decide whether to act against a piece of falsehood on the Internet, and can order that it be taken down or ask for corrections to be put up alongside it. (Shutterstock)
在此新法規定下,新加坡官員可以認定網路上的資訊是否為假訊息,並要求平台將其移除或更正。| Under the new law, Singapore’s ministers can decide whether to act against a piece of falsehood on the Internet, and can order that it be taken down or ask for corrections to be put up alongside it. (Shutterstock)

此外,新加坡政府也能夠要求科技公司封鎖任何散播不實消息的帳號。

They can also order technology companies to block accounts that are spreading untruths.

即便官員的決定會經過法院及司法機構審核,批評該法案的人認為,新法案會被用來打壓言論自由。

Critics had feared the law would be used to curb free speech, even if decisions arising from it would come under court and judicial review.

批評者指出,因為上訴過程是要先上訴到行政官員方之後法院才會審理案件,故批評者認為官員可能會破壞整個上訴程序,拖延或逃避審核上訴案件。

They said a minister could scuttle the appeal process by dithering on his decision, since a person has to appeal to a minister before appealing to the courts.

批評者也表示上訴費用太高,會阻止人們上訴的意願。

They also said the costs of initiating a court challenge could be too prohibitive.

新加坡內政部長尚穆根承諾上訴程序快速且費用適當。

Addressing these concerns, the Government, particularly Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, had promised the appeal process would be relatively fast and inexpensive for individuals.

據悉,只要官員開始審理上訴案,高等法院最快可在九天內審理案件。

An appeal can be heard in the High Court as early as nine days after a challenge is first brought to the minister.

九天期限包含兩個工作天讓官員決定是否通過該上訴案,還有六個工作天讓法院規劃聽證會,

This includes the two working days during which a minister has to decide whether to allow an appeal, and the six working days the court has to fix a hearing date, after an aggrieved person files an appeal in court and appears before the duty registrar to ask for an urgent hearing.

法案的另一個癥結點是是否要讓人們知道他們放上網路的資訊被認為是假資訊。

Another sticking point during the parliamentary debate is whether people would know why their content is deemed false.

尚穆根說道法案裡有規定,如果官員認為一則訊息不真實並下令將該則訊息移除或改正,總理有義務解釋為何該則訊息被認為假訊息。

Mr Shanmugam had said a minister will have to explain why a piece of content is false if he is ordering for it to be taken down or for a correction to be put up, and this has been set out in the regulations.

法案亦適用於科技公司,如GoogleFacebookTwitterSPH Magazines、微信及百度等數位廣告平台都包含在內。

Under the law, technology companies will also be subject to codes of practice. To this end, Google, Facebook, Twitter, SPH Magazines, WeChat and Baidu have been designated as digital advertising and Internet intermediaries.

適用於科技公司的意思是,新加坡政府會要求公司查明那些想要置入政治性廣告的廣告主身分,像是會影響選舉的廣告就包含在這範圍裡。

This means the companies may be required to ascertain the identity of those who want to put up any paid political content in Singapore, like advertisements seeking to influence the outcome of elections.

科技公司也可能被要求向大眾表明平台上哪些內容是屬於政治性廣告。

These companies may also be required to disclose to the public the paid political content, among other things.

經過超過一年的時間向大眾諮詢,也舉行過專責委員會,這條為打擊假新聞的《防止網路假信息和網路操縱法案》在今年五月時通過。

Pofma was passed in May after more than a year of public consultation, including a Select Committee hearing.

尚穆根表示,網路上的假訊息一旦流竄開來容易對社會帶來傷害,而新法案將會成為新加坡政府打擊假新聞的有力工具。

Mr Shanmugam had said then that it was designed to give the Government the tools to deal with falsehoods on the Internet that can go viral in a matter of minutes and cause untold damage to society.

法案規定,傳播「假新聞」在新加坡可被判處10年以下有期徒刑,或科或併科罰金10萬以下新加坡幣(約兩百二十三萬台幣)。而科技公司則可能被判罰金100萬(約兩千二百三十萬台幣)以下新加坡幣。

The law provides for criminal sanctions, with fines of up to $1 million for technology companies, and fines of up to $100,000, or jail terms of up to 10 years, or both, for individuals.

By The Strait Times (ANN) and The China Post

Translated by Carol Kan