Singapore crackdown on news websites harms its 'business-friendly' image

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When Singapore tightened regulations on news websites in May, the move drew predictable outrage from free speech and civil rights advocates. But the government may not have expected protests from another group: major global internet companies that do business in Singapore.

On May 28 Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) announced that online news sites that have 50,000 unique visitors per month from Singapore and that publish an average of one story per week on news in Singapore will have to follow the same regulatory framework as traditional media. The new licensing agreement currently applies to 10 sites, including the Yahoo! Singapore news site, and nine sites run by Singapore's MediaCorp and Singapore Press Holdings. The sites must post a performance bond of S$50,000 and comply within 24 hours to requests from the MDA to remove content.

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