Saturday, February 10, 2007

Stalking the blogs

Government using pseudonyms to post comments in blogs? In Singapore, the government admitted recently that it has been sending cyber-operatives dressed in pseudonyms to infiltrate popular socio-political blogs to counter arguments or comments deemed anti-PAP. [read it here].
Malaysian bloggers I speak to say they believe our own government has been sending its own operatives to stalk selected socio-political blogs.
What Singapore does, this administration will emulate. No?

Bloggers on a roll. In a related development, recycled news here about two socio-political bloggers contesting in the next general elections.
Jeff Ooi and Tony Pua are both on my blogroll.
Another on that roll, Nuraina Samad, takes a look at bloggers helping politicians in the US winning elections. Her posting got another blogger on the same roll, MarinaM, to comment:
"I think the issue here is, just as reporters should not be bought, neither should bloggers. Their credibility is important. I doubt if people will really believe bloggers who they know are in the pay of any politician.
Politicians should simply treat bloggers as an intelligent and influential audience and try and persuade them to endorse them, just as (in the US) they do with the major papers. It does matter a lot if the New York Times and the Washington Post endorses you. That is done based on issues and what the candidate's stand is on those issues. So the same should be done with the influential bloggers."


  1. rocky,
    think mydeen abu backer, dek mat, mat merah, muhammad abdullah, juslo and their ilk.
    Think Siber Party.
    AAB boys shamelessly do what Singapore does.
    you can smell them in cyberspace.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Anonymous12:01 am

    We would be happy if our government copy only the way they manage their economy. Copying only the 'not so good' parts will only make our government look more ridiculous.

    Our stalkers are much easier to identify. Just look out for arguments that defy all logics. Either that person is a nut, drunkard, stalker, or all the 3 combined.

  4. Hi Rocky,
    On the subject of government sponsored blog comments, yes, could be true, but hard to say.

    My own case. I don't work for the government, but I am part of what you might call "the establishment"- senior management.
    Personally , I'm against some government policies, support some other policies which make sense.
    I've ever written blog comments supporting government actions before, especially in a few cases where my personal knowledge and experience says the administration was right on this, and the blogger was mistaken.

    I suspect there are a lot of folks like me - not really anti-administration, but interested to read and listen to what the bloggers have to say. Often we agree, sometimes we don't agree with the bloggers.

    I think its important for blogosphere to be able to accommodate a wide range of opinions, as long as opinions are expressed in a responsible manner and we respect each other's opinions.

    Otherwise the blogs will only be read by true believers, and won't be able to influence the wider population.

  5. Anonymous6:47 am

    Dear Rocky

    The assumption here is that bloggers are fashionably anti-establishment. Is this so?

    All I can say that if this is the premise on which you start your blogspot you are indeed short-sighted!

    About government spies - why worry if you are on the side of sense and sensibility, argue out your case well whichever side you're on. Nobody has a monopoly over speech remember?

    Do I sound like a government spy?


  6. As usual bro, nothing original comes from our 4th floor boys...!By the way they reply/respond to the posts, you can smell the rat ! Thou this is good for your image/blog,it is sad because sometimes you can almost feel them grovelling/begging on behalf of their political masters !

  7. Anonymous9:52 am

    Hi Rocky,

    .....about two socio-political bloggers contesting in the next general elections......

    I notice tat this couples of days less n less peoples leaving comments in their blog.

  8. Anonymous10:07 am

    First of all, to me the Internet is a Communication platform and not a Media Platform. A Media is like a book, television, radio, billboard or newspaper. It provide a One-Way-Communication only. A Blog is a Communication tools. If we beleive that Blog is gonna make a Difference with Society, then we must respect any Opinion that Contributed to a Subject, weather it Supporting or Objecting on a particular Subject.

    Please note that I have use the term as Subject because it can be of any Interest that a Cyber Writer wish to Share and Open for Comments, from Technology, Environment, Entertainment to Social Politic. If else, the Cyber Writer can opt for other means where Comments is not Entertain or Selectively Bais. Even then, a Writer does have the Rights to hold his or her Opinion.

    All Writer should be Independent on their Idealogy and can be endose by any Prominent Parties. It should not be consider as being Bought. Unless, a person a just doing mere Reporting Word for Word. So, you can't blame them. They do have Restriction, unless they are asking the Right Question to get Right Answer to be Reported.

    Then again I do have Various Interest, it's just my Opinion that is Contibuting to this particular Subject and weather a Reader wish to take it as Truth, it is Relative.

    ... :)

  9. Anonymous10:53 am

    Many years ago (20 kilograms ago ) during my college days, one invited speaker in our faculty spoke about " Prostitute Writers ". Writers who get paid to write only good things about someone or writers who are paid to character assasinate someone.

    Write only fabulous good thing about someone including the lacy Faragamo underwear that he or she is wearing to a function.

    Bathe the person who is not in their liking with `Indah Water first level product".

    This is usually the case of business rivals or pure political career movement in the boleh-land country.

    Well, here we have a
    " Prostitute Bloggers Commentator " . New species in the Boleh-land country under the sleeping eyes of prince Putera Ngorok.

    Prostitute Bloggers or
    Prostitute Bloggers Commentators or Blogger Jalang

    or Komentar Blogger Bohsia
    are the arse licking species who are opportunist and shall wait
    for windfall of
    silent mega project
    to be hand delivered to them.

    Welcome to Visit Boleh-Land Year 2007!

    John Labu.

  10. hi Rocky,
    here's the thing, bro. On the Spore govt operatives going into blogs critical of govt policies -- frankly, i don't see anything "wrong" in that. All's fair in this game, don't u think.It is "war".
    The spore govt has to do that. How else are they gonna fight the power of the blogs? with the same power, of course.
    You have to be ahead of your rivals. And if you cannot, then you go along. Can't win 'em, join 'em.
    It was inevitable that it would have to be done. actually a no-brainer strategy. Anyone would resort to that.
    But, the thing is, bloggers aint stupid. they can smell a rat. so they fight back. level playing field.
    it's the same in malaysia. they have a bunch of IT-savvy guys to help do the damage-control job.
    it makes for a very interesting spat/excanges in cyberspace.
    bring them on, wouldn't you say?

  11. Anonymous12:09 pm

    [Rocky's Bru: Monsterball left this comment this morning 6.15. Had to leave out some names so as not to land you in trouble with the court, Monsterball. ]

    Rocky...Singapore..I recalled is voted to be the 3rd most non corrupted country in the world and Malaysia is way down 57th position.
    So it is like a person with a clean reputation in all aspects have every right to protect and defend himself. No one dares to talk nonsense about he is famous to sue one in court. He dares to do that because he is a sparkling clean politician.
    Hi in Malaysia..our government is copying S'pore?....hahhahaha. Are you kidding??
    Our country is trully run by a bunch of hypocritical thick skinned politicians...copying with no guilty conscience.

    [Deleted para about lawsuits against bloggers, newspaper operatives and their Singapore masters]

    Yes we can differentiate a blog free or one being sponsored to promote something or for somebody or being bought and commentators talking nonsense to rediclue and disturb a legimate comment are their assistants. Not hard to indentify them.

  12. Datuk Marina said: "I think the issue here is, just as reporters should not be bought, neither should bloggers".

    What Datuk Marina said definitely does not apply to me.

    If only i can say something, let me say:

    "Hey you influential bloggers! Cari makan lagu lain laa!"

    Go and find something decent for your pot of rice!

  13. Hasilox,

    Nuts, drunkards and stalkers come and goes. Sometimes with a variety of nicks but we can recognise their 'signature' writings.

    It's the lurkers I'm concerned about, especially the ones that goes all over the blogosphere collecting 'data' and 'building a case' when the time is ripe to clamp down.

    Meanwhile, Screenshots comments dwindling. Typekey glitch?

  14. isn't it healthier to have an exchange of views rather than an exchange of lawyers' letters?

    my two cents worth:

  15. REad my latest posting on what I intend to do to rats.

  16. Yes, it is easy to spot these agents. You can smell them from a distance. First they had Machai (kaput now I believe....went in to defend friends, nearly got sucked into their vileness and finally left with a bad taste. Now they have Siber(ia) Party...more subtle than Machai, but still ratty.

  17. on about the lurkers. You too can spot them travelling and hitch-hiking the blogs.Next Friday?

  18. Anonymous12:58 am

    If our gov is really doing that, it would be the world most idiotic act. Even spore doesn't do that. Reason is simple. The country benefits with public participation of socio-political issues. Political apathy worries every democratic country.

    If the gov shows such mentality, we better be prepared for dark days ahead. Maybe, life would be like that in Myanmar in a generation time.

    Typekey seems not functioning at all in Screenshots.

  19. shar101, hasilox:
    received this sms on Feb 7 from a journalist:-
    "Hi rocky,
    I got news from a reliable source saying that people "UP THERE" have given out instructions to find a good webmaster at whatever cost, to create trouble for certain websites, bloggers and webtv like yours, jeff's, mykmu, tvpas, kickdefella, etc.
    I don't know much about technology and stuff like (that) but what the webmaster must do is to make these sites unaccessible without having to do anything to the server. Perhaps Jeff could clarify whether this could be done.
    The instruction was given out yesterday. Have you heard of it?"

    Thing is, I still can't verify if this was true. Haven't even told Jeff because I didn't want to sound so alarmist. But maybe I should have, seeing that I too don't know much about technology and stuff like that.

    Cheers. And thanks to the two of you for watching our (bloggers') backs all this while. Thanks to you, too, Firewall.

  20. Anonymous2:45 am

    In actual fact, they have already started. If you remembered few months ago, not only RPK's readers can't access his site, he himself couldn't! That was only solved when his people found a way to get in from the back door and removed "that foreign folder" planted in.

    Can't say for sure if that is what going on now at Jeff's. In the actual words from 'someone from their end', they actually hired experts for this sort of infiltrations.

  21. Nuraina and Sophie,

    Yes! Bring Them On. CCertainly better than lawsuits.
    Not only is it more gentlemanly, engaging the cyberspace could also be one of the most productive things our government could do.
    While they set out to counter views that oppose govt policies, they should also compile the various feedbacks in cyberspace and use them to improve the implementation of those policies.
    Thing is I don't think that is what they have in mind.

  22. Anonymous12:59 pm

    Laknat hang tujuh keturunan, ahirudin. Ameen.

    hang ni penganut setia ayah pin ka?
    ayah pin mana? oh, silap, sekali dengan gang rufaqaa'.

    Mampus la blog u, baru rasa glamor dah ngo-mabuk. Jalang indon kangkang sikit, bini kat rumah dengan anak-anak menyundal ke mana.
    Anak sundal bankrup jual diri sama orang bangsat-bangsat yudhoyono.

    Itu lah the tukang karut blog
    kalau orang tak setuju, orang tu salah?!

    Laknat hang tujuh keturunan, ahirudin. Ameen.

    have the balls to publish this, mas tenggelam timbul.

  23. Anonymous1:14 pm

    Well RockyBru,

    => Yes! Bring Them On. CCertainly better than lawsuits.

    lol ... I can imagine you dancing around like Muhammad Ali the boxer in a boxing ring ... heh, heh ... just to lighten up the topic ... :)

  24. Isa has invoked the 'langkawi curse' on Rocky.

    Didn't anybody inform Isa that it only works once.

    And the last one was 'antidoted' by none other than....?