Two online news websites, Mothership and MiddleGround, has been issued a letter of demand by the Singapore Government to comply with the Media Development Authority (MDA)’s internet censorship regulation rules including placing a S$50,000 “performance” bond.
Under the internet censorship regulation by MDA, the editors will have to remove any content when requested by the Singapore Government within 24 hours of being notified. The two sites will also have to place a S$50,000 “performance” bond to ensure “good behaviour” and compliance.
Introduced in August 2013 by the Ministry of Communication and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, every news site that is accessed from at least 50,000 different Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in Singapore each month, over a period of two months in a row, and that contains at least one article a week on Singapore news, over the same two months, will have come under the internet censorship law.
There are currently 10 websites under the censorship regulations. The official mainstream media of Singapore, under the Singapore Press Holdings, is ranked 153rd in terms of press accuracy and independence.
States Times Review have yet to received any notice for registration with the Singapore censorship authorities, but as STR is based in Australia, it will only comply with Australian laws. Out of goodwill, STR will only comply to a reasonable extent of the MDA censorship regulations.