Singapore's film block a symbolic act

Singapore's film block a symbolic act

Summary: The country's Internet regulators swung into action by getting the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims" restricted on YouTube. The question remains whether such moves are effective.

TOPICS: Legal, Singapore

The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) posted on its Web site two weeks ago the reason behind restricting access to the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims".

It stated: "The Ministry of Home Affairs has informed us that the YouTube video clip 'Innocence of Muslims' contains material that is contrary to the public interest and incites 'religious hatred, strife or intolerance' and is therefore in breach of Singapore's laws. In response, we have directed Google to restrict access to the video in Singapore."

The use of Internet Content regulation in the form of the Internet Code of Practice gives legislative teeth to the government's powers. However, this gesture is more symbolic than effective given that Singaporean users with U.S. proxy services as well as accessing other Web sites could view the clip should they choose to.

I am sure there are many who can tell me how they can access the banned clip, though I am not suggesting that one should do so nor publicize how to. But the point remains that Singapore's regulators have made a stand against offensive content with its decision, notwithstanding people's ability to circumvent the restriction.

Topics: Legal, Singapore

Bryan Tan

About Bryan Tan

Bryan is Pinsent Masons's technology media and telecommunications partner in Singapore and has practised since 1997. He advises on contracting and risk management in the areas of information systems and telecommunications, including intellectual property, data data privacy, e-commerce, cloud computing, and sourcing. He also has advised 10 different governments on e-commerce law.

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  • We apologize...

    ...for our freedom of speech. Islam demands tolerance and gives no tolerance in return. It demands us to censor ourselves and continues to kill innocent people like those who citicize it and apostates.
    No more.
  • There are millions of offensive movies on youtube

    Why just pick on one. Just ban them all. Or you could embrace freedom of speech and just ignore the lunatics like we do.