Anti-foreign interference Bill - 3 areas of concern

The Fica Bill as currently drafted is problematic because of its extremely broad language, restrictions on judicial review and questionable procedural rules.

Foreign interference is a matter of growing concern, but the challenge is to craft balanced legislation that effectively addresses undesirable foreign influence while not curtailing legitimate citizen-led activity, says the writer. PHOTO: ST FILE
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The Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (Fica) was recently introduced in Parliament. It seeks to reduce the risk of acts of foreign interference by strengthening the Government's ability to prevent, detect and disrupt such interference.

The Bill creates new offences which target clandestine online activity. It also imposes substantial financial reporting obligations on politically significant persons, as well as obligations on parties providing social media services and online content.

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