Dated: 8 November 2013
The Government adopts a pragmatic and light-touch approach to regulating Internet content. The Internet Code of Practice allows MDA to work with Internet Service Providers to block certain sites which contain prohibited content1. We recognize that site blocking is not a perfect way of denying access to prohibited content, as it can be circumvented. Besides, there are many sites with undesirable content on the Internet and it is not practical to block every one of them. The Media Development Authority (MDA) therefore blocks a limited number of sites as a symbolic statement of the types of content which the community is opposed to.
2. The Ashley Madison website, however, stands out. It aggressively promotes and facilitates extramarital affairs and has declared that it will specifically target Singaporeans. For example, its founder gave an interview to a local newspaper and according to reports intends to fly into Singapore to launch the Singapore site in the week of 17 November.
3. It is against the public interest to allow Ashley Madison to promote its website in flagrant disregard of our family values and public morality. We will therefore not allow Ashley Madison to operate in Singapore and have worked with the Internet Service Providers to block access to the site.
1The Internet Code of Practice defines “prohibited content” as content which is objectionable on the grounds of public interest, public morality, public order, public security, national harmony, or is otherwise prohibited by applicable Singapore laws.
About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (www.mda.gov.sg) promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (www.mci.gov.sg).