Second high-profile Protection Order requested, this time by…Mindef?

In case you’ve not been following the news, this was what happened: since November last year, there is a new act passed in Singapore, in which if someone harasses you online continuously, you can file a protection order. When that occurs, that “someone” has to stop harassing you online—if he continues, the police can use their resources to track that person down and charge him or her.

The reason why we’ve used the term “someone” is because in the Internet, it’s common for one to be anonymous.

And so, not too long, Xiaxue, a prominent blogger in Singapore, successfully filed a PO against SMRT Ltd(Feedback), a Facebook Page. It’s interesting because for the first time, we get to see the PO in action, and we no longer think of PO as just “Purchase Order” but “Protection Order”.

Recently, something more interesting happened. Mindef pursued a Court order to get a protection order against a website and an individual.

But first, let’s recap on the basics:

The website, theonlinecitizen.com (TOC), and an individual, Dr Ting, have allegedly claimed that Mindef copied a design of Dr Ting’s invention of a mobile casualty station (just think of it as a big bus that can transform into a mobile hospital). The website sort of defended Dr Ting to some extent.

Then, Mindef informed the public that the patent (think of it as the copyright of an item) of the mobile casualty station is not valid, which is why they have built their own stations. Then there’re stories from both sides when they started taking legal actions. Some of them were, in fact, a little sensational: for example, it was alleged that Mindef requested Dr Ting for $580,000 for their legal costs, etc. However, that is all now resolved. The argument by Mindef is that they’re not the ones who proceed with the Court proceeding—it’s their vendor, and reasonable so as Mindsef is merely a purchaser and not a manufacturer.

And now, Mindef has requested TOC to delete an article that shows Mindef in a bad light, or risk having to do so with a Protection Order against TOC and Dr Ting. TOC and Dr Ting have decided to contest the order.

Seems like from now on, it’s not always good news when we receive a PO, for it could be Protection Order instead of Purchase Order now.

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