May 29, 2013

Not satisfied with current media censorship, Singapore’s government will now require licenses for on-line news sites.

The new policy will force Singaporean news sites that have at least 50,000 visitors a month to apply for annual licenses from the Media Development Authority and to remove “prohibited content” within 24 hours of notification. The policy, starting on June 1, will place these sites “on a more consistent regulatory framework with traditional news platforms which are already individually licensed.”

“This is censorship, plain and simple,” said Lee Kin Mun, commonly known as “Mr. Brown,” a Singaporean social and political blogger. “Trying to regulate the Internet is like trying to grab jelly; the tighter your grip on it, the faster it leaks out of your hand.”

“Our mainstream media are subjected to rules. Why shouldn’t the online media be part of that regulatory framework?” said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

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