Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for enhanced cooperation to combat online scams and spam communications.
SINGAPORE – 21 JUL 2022
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have signed an MOU to enhance cooperation between both counties to combat online scams and spam communications.
The MOU was signed on 18 July 2022 by the Chief Executive of IMDA, Mr Lew Chuen Hong and the Chair of ACMA, Ms Nerida O’ Loughlin at a physical signing ceremony in Singapore.
This MOU has been developed in connection with the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, as well as the Joint Declaration by the Prime Ministers of Australia and Singapore on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’s objective to deepen bilateral relations and cooperation and enhance the integration of the economies of Australia and Singapore.
The MOU aims to promote collaboration in areas such as sharing information on trends and patterns of scams and spams, coordinating cross-border investigations, and exploring ways to enhance the effectiveness of the scams registry. This partnership will help both countries to better protect their citizens from online scams in Singapore and Australia.
The MOU covers cooperation in key areas such as information sharing and assistance in investigations relating to online scam and spam calls and short message services. Parties have also agreed to mutual exchanges of knowledge and expertise and collaboration on technical and commercially viable solutions in relation to such online scam and spam communications.
Commenting on the MOU signing, Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of IMDA said “The burgeoning digital economy sees growing international cooperation between regulators. This MOU, developed in connection with the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, is an important step to address global issues that do not respect geographical boundaries for e.g., harms perpetrated by scams. The MOU forms the foundation for broadening collaboration, in the overall telecommunication and digital space, to ensure that it remains a trusted domain.”
Mr Nerida O’ Loughlin, Chairman of ACMA said she was pleased to further strengthen the ACMA’s strong working relationship with the IMDA. She added “Almost every Australian is impacted by unwanted calls, SMS and emails, and we know that many of our international colleagues are dealing with the same issues. This agreement will see us building stronger ties with our Singaporean counterparts to crack down on unsolicited calls and messages, particularly when cross-border issues are involved.”
Online scam and unsolicited commercial electronic messages and calls are an international problem with scammers continuing to prey on unsuspecting and innocent parties. Both Singapore and Australia recognise the importance of developing a global and coordinated approach to address these threats and for different stakeholders to work together. This MOU forms part of IMDA’s broader international approach where countries and stakeholders can work together to better combat online scam calls/SMSs.
IMDA has implemented multiple upstream measures with the Telcos to disrupt scammers’ reach to potential victims –
- The Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) was established in March 2022 to block SMSes that spoof the sender IDs of participants, which includes Government agencies and banks
- Blocking of scam calls in Singapore, including robocalls and those spoofing numbers of local Governmental agencies and emergency services
- Inserting the “+” prefix for international incoming calls so that the public will not pick up such calls if they are not expecting calls from overseas
All these efforts are part of IMDA's ongoing commitment to safeguarding consumers and maintaining the integrity of Singapore's communications infrastructure through the scams registry and other regulatory measures.