Singapore Passes Foreign Interference Law Allowing Authorities To Block Internet Content
Singapore’s parliament has passed a law aimed at preventing foreign interference in domestic politics, which the opposition and activists have criticised as a tool to crush dissent. From an AFP report: The law, approved after a marathon session that stretched to near midnight on Monday, would allow authorities to compel internet service providers and social media platforms to provide user information, block content and remove applications used to spread content they deem hostile. Groups and individuals involved in local politics can be designated as “politically significant persons,” which would require them to disclose foreign funding sources and subject them to other “countermeasures” to reduce the risk of overseas meddling.

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Violators risk prison terms and hefty fines on conviction. Campaigners say it is the latest piece of draconian legislation to be rolled out in a city-state where authorities are frequently accused of curbing civil liberties. But in a lengthy address to parliament, law and home affairs minister K Shanmugam said Singapore was vulnerable to “hostile information campaigns” carried out from overseas and through local proxies. “The internet has created a powerful new medium for subversion,” he said. “Countries are actively developing attack and defence capabilities as an arm of warfare, equal to, and more potent than, the land, air and naval forces.”

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