Thank you for subscribing/considering a subscription to We, The Citizens! I run this newsletter as a solo operation, and this would go nowhere without everyone's support, especially that of the Milo Peng Funders with paid subscriptions.
I have no intention of divulging or selling the membership list to anyone. For this newsletter, I use Plausible Analytics, an independent, privacy-focused service; you can read more about their commitment to privacy here.
However, given Singapore's laws (current and upcoming), I cannot guarantee that I'll be able to keep the membership list from the authorities/law enforcement, should they demand such information. This is especially so given the provisions in the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act, or FICA, which has been passed by Parliament. While it is not yet in force, we can expect that to happen in the near future. I elaborated on some potential FICA scenarios for myself and this newsletter here. For clarity, here's the section on what would happen if the authorities demanded information from me under FICA:
Section 108 of FICA allows the authorities to demand information — such as membership details, “relations with foreign principals”, etc. — to cross-check information that has been reported to them, or to figure out if they should be issuing any directive under FICA. It gives the government very wide discretion to ask for information from anywhere, and doesn’t require the individual or organisation to be a proscribed online location or a politically significant person.
What this means for We, The Citizens is that if the government were to demand information — such as the list of subscribers to this newsletter — I would not be able to refuse. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to $5,000, with an additional $500 per day for every day I refuse to comply even after conviction.
This is something that’s important to be aware of: while I have no intention of voluntarily publishing or divulging the subscriber list for this newsletter, I don’t have the power to refuse the authorities if they come asking for it.
I don’t think it’s inherently risky to simply be a subscriber of We, The Citizens — after all, a subscription doesn’t equate to an endorsement of my views, nor should subscribers be expected to assume responsibility for what I write — but I just want to make sure I’m clear about this so everyone can make informed choices for themselves. Obviously I hope that We, The Citizens won’t lose any subscribers over this, but I completely understand and won’t judge if anyone would prefer to end their (free/paid) subscription.
One other thing to note: unsubscribing from emails does not remove you from the membership list on the Ghost back-end. If you would like to remove yourself entirely from the membership list, please email me at wethecitizens.newsletter [at] gmail [dot] com. I will also periodically delete people who have chosen to unsubscribe from receiving emails (unless you're a Milo Peng Funder), as there's no reason for people who don't want to receive emails to be on the membership list of an email newsletter. That way, I am retaining only the information that I need from people who actually want to receive the newsletter.