States Times Review has dealt too much political damage to the ruling party, and it is time to close it down before the 2020 General Election. When Law Minister K Shanmugam gets his way, the Australian website would be wrongfully labelled as a fake news, or worse, a Russian website to subvert the Singapore government.
In any case, the ban is certain and it would most likely happen by this year.
Unfortunately for the ruling party government, STR is not going to be a sitting duck offering it’s neck stretched out. Countermeasures to censorship are already in place since the Singapore government is not the only dictatorship in the world banning the internet. Communist regimes like China, Vietnam and Cuba are a lot more stricter and their governments still have trouble banning “undesirable content” despite more than two decades of censorship since internet service was introduced.
Learning from these communist regimes, STR’s salvation is to turn the Singapore internet usage landscape underground. Here comes the Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
To those who are new to VPN, it simply allows you to access a certain restricted content by connecting you to an overseas server. Say for example STR is banned in Singapore, you can choose to pick any overseas server i.e. Malaysia to access the STR website.
There are many benefits to using VPN services including hiding your online activity from the Temasek Holdings-owned Internet Service Providers like Singtel, Starhub and M1. You can download free VPN applications on Android or Apple too, so a ban on STR pretty much is useless.
There you go. Ban undone.
A ban on STR website, in my opinion, is better. It would bring higher readership as the forbidden fruit is always the most tempting. Thanks to Facebook, the page would remain even if the site is banned in Singapore. Google would not cut the much-needed advertisement revenue to maintain the website either. With the two corporations behind my back, I believe STR would be all good no matter what K Shanmugam does.