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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Bloggers' Rights & Responsibilities: Discussion on 25 September 2010

Having friends who are among the most active bloggers in Brunei gave me an invaluable insight into what their concerns and fears are when they blog. There are 2 main categories of bloggers out there - the first and who are in the majority, remain blissfully unaware of the many and current laws that can have an impact on their online activities. The other category are those who know something about the laws and its legal implications, but these are in the minority.

On the other side of the coin are those who have been the subject of blogs or posts and comments which they find offensive or are outright lies, but do not know what can be done about them. The unsurprising fact about this is that those in this camp are in their teens.

Hopefully this will change with the talk that I will be delivering at the on 25th September, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. More details are available below with the synopsis of the talk. If you're in the vicinity, do drop by.

Title of talk: A Blogger’s Rights and Responsibilities & the other legal issues on the use of Social Media in Brunei Darussalam
Speaker:      Ahmad Jefri Rahman & Hjh. Rahayu bte Dato Hj. Abd. Razak
Date:           Saturday, 25 September, 2010
Time:           2:30 p.m
Venue:        2nd Floor, The Law and Magistrate’s Court Building

The Brunei blogging scene is alive and kicking. Like bloggers elsewhere, Brunei bloggers publish on a multitude of topics ranging from the mundane to those with attention grabbing content. There is a need for Brunei bloggers to be aware of legal issues arising from their online activity. There has been development of case law in neighbouring jurisdictions which has resulted in imprisonment for comments made by bloggers. Although no known cases have been brought in the local courts, the common legal background and systems of our neighbouring countries will provide some guidance on the likely outcome when similar issues come up for hearing in our courts.

The threats of legal repercussions in the form of civil lawsuits and criminal charges should serve as potent reminders of the potential legal problems that can arise from blogging, and any online activity, such as the use of social media that involves the expression of opinions and views. Most bloggers remain blissfully unaware of their liabilities for what they publish online. Many treat their blogs as merely an online version of their personal diaries or logs. However, they often forget that there is a difference in keeping a written diary for private use and one that is open to public viewing.

This discussion will consider some of the potential legal issues that may arise from blogging and the use of social media in the context of the laws of Brunei Darussalam. Its target audience are bloggers, parents whose children use social media, and members of the public who wish to know what they can do to protect their rights. The aim is to create awareness of the rights as well as the responsibilities of bloggers to the extent that their activities may impact the freedom of expression that so many bloggers take for granted when navigating cyberspace. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Jefri,

Would you do more on this kind of talk in the near future? As I will be outstation on the 25th. :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Jefri,

Do you by any chance happen to have an email whereby I could perhaps contact you?

Jefri Rahman said...

More sessions are planned for schools and individual departments dealing with blogs. The interesting issue of cyber-bullying came up during the talk which I think needs following up.

Jefri Rahman said...

I can be reached by email at jefri.rahman@brunet.bn

Anonymous said...

Hi Jefri,

YOu cannot be reached using jefri.rahman @brunet.bn.. do you have any other emails?

Jefri Rahman said...

My apologies, my brunet email is jefri_rahman@brunet.bn