We asked you, our readers, for your opinion after we reported on a new law in Singapore that gives government officials the power to block all electronic communications at the scene of a “serious incident.”
This controversial law means that in the event of a terrorist attack, for example, all news coverage at the scene, as well as cell phone communications, etc., would be shut down. Essentially no photos, text or audio messages, emails or phone calls.
Here are the responses to our question, “Should our government have the right to shut down electronic communications during “serious incidents?”
- 24.7 percent said: “Yes, if lives can be saved, that is paramount”
- 75.3 percent said: “No, it is a slippery slope in the battle for free speech”
Here are a sampling of the comments we received:
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
I feel that curtailment of vital info could be the end result if shut down. Both for the victims and military.
People have the inherent right to know what is happening around them. Good or bad.
Not a good idea when some agencies are currently abusing some of their tools of the trade.
Record and broadcast later still works, and we have enough other free modes of speech to hold the government to account for abuses.
The “world” should know what is happening as it happens!
Cut the serpents head off so they get no satisfaction of the publicity. The shock factor is what the terrorist attacks are about.
Darkness should not beget darkness, the light must be on to see, to be free.
We can no longer trust our government to tell the truth. The sad thing is that we can’t even trust the media anymore.
Repressive governments always try to restrict the flow of information, and admit only the evidence approved by the powers that be. Information control is the first and primary weapon of the state against its own people. More bloody weapons inevitably follow.
The governments in various nations are hiding the truths about terrorist attacks. Citizens with their cell phone cameras can expose the truth about what really happened.
That would simply increase the terror and the terrorists’ power.
Gov’t control is never the best alternative.
If this is allowed to happen we become no better than a socialist country with state-run media!
Yes, it just adds to the chaos and typically misinformation as, initially, few facts are known. Let first responders do their job and report on it later.
My immediate thoughts were with the innocent victims. If I were lying there injured (and dying) I would like to be able to contact my loved ones. From the reasons cited above, we need first hand witness videos and accounts as the Western media is not always providing the full picture. (I live in Germany.)
I think making people aware of where the danger point is located is sensible. I think most people would choose to avoid that area if known. On the other side, it would be useful to shut down the cell phone for possible detonation. In the end I would still have to say, “Viva!” free speech.
In case of terror attack info should be provided only by official channels.
I wish the news media would show the true results of a terrorist act(s), carnage and all, so the public will finally see what evil is and does to us all.
NO BRAINER ISSUE: All power and control to those who Serve & Protect, so they can do their jobs.
Was in the middle of the Glasgow airport attack and the only way we knew what was happening was through individual mobile relaying outside media accounts.
A better informed populace can make better informed decisions. Early recording of events may assist in investigations later … could lead to better and earlier dealing with suspects.
While the press often gets it wrong in the beginning of an event, better to err on the side of a free press than to allow the gov’t to cover up their possible culpability in a “major” event. People need to see the event in real time so they can ask the right questions of their elected leaders