Last updated: 13 March 2023
Published on: 15 October 2021
3 MINS READ
SINGAPORE - 15 October 2021: IMDA has cancelled The Online Citizen Pte Ltd’s (TOC) class licence as it had repeatedly refused to comply with its licence conditions as a registered Internet Content Provider (ICP).
Registered ICPs, such as TOC, which engage in the online promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore, are required to be transparent about their sources of funding. This is to prevent such ICPs from being controlled by foreign actors, or coming under the influence of foreign entities or funding, and to ensure that there is no foreign influence in domestic politics.
Despite multiple reminders and extensions of time granted by IMDA, TOC failed to comply with the requirement to make an annual declaration of its funding sources in respect of TOC’s 2020 Undertaking and Statutory Declaration. Therefore, IMDA suspended TOC’s class licence on 14 September 2021 and gave TOC a final deadline of 28 September 2021 to submit the required information. As at 14 October 2021, TOC has still not submitted the required information. TOC has also publicly stated that it will not be providing the required information.
TOC’s clear and persistent refusal to be transparent and to provide the necessary information to bring it into full compliance with the Broadcasting Act and the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification compels IMDA to proceed with cancellation of TOC’s class licence with immediate effect.
It is an offence for TOC to operate any licensable broadcasting services, including any new licensable broadcasting services, without a licence.
ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (IMDA)
About Infocomm Media Development Authority
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.
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YUEN Hui Tian (Ms)
Manager, Communications and Marketing
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CHUA Hian Hou (Mr)
Deputy Director, Communications and Marketing,
DID: (65) 6202 4956
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