Singapore bloggers protest government licensing regulation
Bloggers in Singapore are planning to stage a protest against new government regulations that they believe will limit free speech.
According to the Times of Oman, "Free My Internet," a group of bloggers from Singapore, will replace their sites with black screens on Thursday with the words, "#Freemyinternet". The protest will last 24 hours.
It stems from a new law that will require news agencies to obtain a license from the state in order to operate, a move that has been criticized by the blogging coalition. The source noted that the mainstream media in Singapore is widely regarded as strictly pro-government.
Yahoo reported that the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore announced the new legislation last week. It would require 10 specific sites to put up a S$50,000 bond for the license or face having content removed.
By singling out certain cites, it appears Singapore's government is targeting particular outlets with a clear agenda in mind.
Also, many bloggers and web activists in the city-state believe that the regulation has been implemented without adhering to the proper legal process, according to Yahoo. This will do little to promote the credibility of the MDA, in Singapore and abroad.