The new Foreign Interference Law of Singapore will exacerbate the "generalized culture of academic self-censorship", have warned, despite the guarantees that the activities of the University of Routine will not be affected.

The Foreign Interference Law (countermeasures) can be investigated and obstruct the "hostile information campaigns" designed to incite social discord in Singapore, influence its political processes or undermine its sovereignty.

The legislation is specifically directed to online activity with foreign origins. It allows authorities to force Internet providers, social media platforms and web sites operators to block content and disclose information about their users.

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    The bill approved on October 4, only three weeks after being presented, and will be promulgated after the presidential settlement, which is usually a formality.

    During parliamentary debates, the Minister of Home Affairs, Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, said the bill would not affect academic activities. "We value intellectual production, collaborations, the exchange of ideas, the work of our Academics. They need to be linked to the rest of the world. It is important for Singapore," he said.

    In a direct response to the reservations raised several days before by the AcademiaG client group, Shanmugam said things such as international research collaborations, the presentations of the conference abroad and visitors do not They would be affected, although they could be "subsidized or totally financed by foreign universities, foundations and states". googleg.cmd.push (function () googleg.display ("dfp-ad-article_in_article"););

    But in a posterior editorial, he says that the minister's guarantees detailed in legislation. The group highlights the "expansive" definition of the terms of the law, such as "public interest", which includes preventing "a decrease in public confidence" in government.

    "This wording could cover any effective criticism of the Government., Regardless of whether that criticism is justified," says the publisher.

    And while the minister said that interventions under the act would be "proportional", the law authorizes any measure that the government considers "file". Configuring too low bar, Academiagsg argues: "What a government finds merely file may not be objectively necessary to ensure public interest".

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    The editori Al says that there are "inevitable exchanges" between "leaving the legal lagoons that could be exploited by the malignant foreign actors" and "launching such a fine network that could burn legitimate collaborations abroad." The "catch-all language is tilted towards the latter."

    The act can lead to "more red ribbon" and reinforce a culture of "political signals from the State" that is "internalizes by universities", adds it group.

    Shanmugam said the Academics would only come under the scope of the law if there were attempts to "convert the person into an agent of influence". He cited the case of the political scientist at the National University of Singapore, Huang Jing, an American born in China, which was permanently expelled in 2017 "to participate in common activities to Singapore

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