Singapore: #FreeMyInternet: Bloggers hold Blackout Protest (in vain, I think)


#FreeMyInternet, a socio-political bloggers movement, leads an Internet Blackout.




“We’re just ordinary people, just bloggers, so & let me tell my story” – final words at Hong Lim Park


[TRE] 2,500 participated in at Hong Lim Park: is encouraged by the …





Untitled Album


8 Jun

Silenced by money.


The Heart Truths’ speech at protest


█ ████████ ██████ ██████████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████████ ██. ███ ███ This tweet has been found in violation of MDA.

8 Jun

Protesters close with rousing rendition of “Stand By Me”, fined $50K by MDA for unlicensed performance of copyrighted work


Singapore @ Speaker’s Corner

Like This Page · Today at 5:30pm ·


Today at 5:30pm · · Taken at Hong Lim Park
Crowds of protestors gather at Hong Lim Park to urge the government to remove the new licensing requirements on online news sites. They believe the new restrictions are an attempt at censorship and an infringement on the rights of Singaporeans to access information online.


At protest

protest happening now at Hong Lim Park

Attendee waves placard during protest at Hong Lim Park

: You tell it as it is, sistah! ” lol


Donaldson, speaking in Mandarin: we must oppose the new regulations. He talks about “objectionable content”

8 Jun

People at demo in S’pore laying flowers at a symbolic “tombstone”

8 Jun

Yay RT : Photo: Opa Kena Sai


@ Speaker’s Corner


“it’s not that young Singaporians don’t care… It’s that they all fear”


Please in .


Like! “: Grumpy cat makes an appearance at protest at Hong Lim Park!

8 Jun

8 Jun

Photo: Painting “Freedom…”

8 Jun

Photo: “License needed…”

8 Jun

Decided to turn up for the last hr.


protest . People speaking out and up against govt forces registration of bloggers:


Organisers did a count of the number of attendees – over 2000.


Jewel: engage you MPs and ministers to get the regulation removed. If they don’t listen, you know what to do come 2016.


Grumpy cat has a say


Free Our iPads – taking a break at the protest at Hong Lim Park


According to the Human Rights Watch report: “In response to criticism, the Media Development Authority clarified on its Facebook page on May 31 that, ‘An individual publishing views on current affairs and trends on his/her personal website or blog does not amount to news reporting.’ However, in a separate statement, the Authority undermined this claim by asserting that, “If they [blogs] take on the nature of news sites, we will take a closer look and evaluate them accordingly.”


The Singapore government usually doesn’t back away from its implementation of regulations, no matter how stiff the protest.

Asia Sentinel

Singapore’s Websites Call for Saturday Protest Print E-mail
Written by Our Correspondent
Friday, 07 June 2013
Communications Minister Yaacob communicates

Communications Minister Yaacob communicates

Blogs “go dark,” protest launched against Internet restrictions

More than 160 Singaporean websites are calling for concerned citizens to assemble Saturday in Hong Lim Park, the site of the city’s Speaker’s Corner, to protest stringent new licensing requirements imposed by the Media Development Authority (MDA) on bloggers and other websites last week.

More than 160 bloggers closed down their sites Thursday for 24 hours to protest implementation of the new laws.

The bloggers have launched a campaign using the Twitter hashtag #FreeMyInternet to spread the word about the campaign. Online commentators have expressed concern over the breadth of the definition of “online news sites,” warning that it could sweep in blogs that discuss a wide range of issues, and websites that enable users to discuss online content.

The new regulations, promulgated at the behest of Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, have been condemned internationally by the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders. Today the New York-based Human Rights Watch joined in condemning the regulations, saying that “The Singaporean government should withdraw an onerous new licensing requirement for online news sites. The new rules will further discourage independent commentary and reporting on the Internet.”

The Singapore government usually doesn’t back away from its implementation of regulations, no matter how stiff the protest.

“Singapore’s new licensing requirement casts a chill over the city-state’s robust and free-wheeling online communities, and will clearly limit Singaporeans’ access to independent media,” said Cynthia Wong, senior Internet researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Websites will be forced into the role of private censors on behalf of the government.”


It will be many many years ahead before anyone in Singapore can effectively,protest anything the Singapore Government wants to do.

Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Netizens of Singapore have denounced the Media Development Authority’s (MDA) new licensing scheme for ten online media websites as a censorship measure.

More than 130 Singapore based websites have blacked-out their sites in support of an online protest against the new regulations by MDA.

The movement consisting of socio-political bloggers call themselves #FreeMyInternet. They are opposing the new licensing requirements for online media claiming that it is a censorship measure.

Nine of the ten websites affected are those owned by companies with close links to the government, leaving only the Yahoo Singapore News website (, of neutral ground.

Concerned netizens have also decided to “blackout” their websites as a sign of protest towards the authority’s action on placing restrictions for the online media.

The new licensing requirements imposed by the MDA requires online news sites to put up a “performance bond” of SGD50,000 and “comply withing 24hours to MDA’s directions to remove content that is found to be in breach of content standards”.

The movement’s website, allows netizens to sign an online petition in protest of the new regulations and also steps on how people can “blackout” their blog sites.

The “blackout” online protest is planned to go on till midnight.

According to their Facebook group, they are most concerned about losing their ability to participate in everyday online activities and discussions.

They are also taking a strong stand against the licensing regime as they believe it would impede on their independence.

The movement has planned a rally at Hong Lim Park on June 8 from 4pm to 7pm. The fact that Hong Lim Park in a “free speech are”, the rally does not require a police permit.

Singapore bloggers on a blackout protest


S’pore bloggers hold online blackout to protest new law
2:54PM Jun 6, 2013

One hundred and thirty-four Singapore bloggers have staged a blackout of their websites today in protest of a new licensing law for online news that they decry as a move to stifle independent media.

According to a report on AFP, the protest today involves putting up a blank black screen over their homepages with the words ‘#FreeMyInternet’, and details of a gathering on Saturday at the Hong Lim Park Speakers’ Corner in the heart of the city.

singapore blog yawning bread blackout“This is not just a movement by socio-political blogs. The participating websites are from all genres – from lifestyle and food, to technology.

“The diversity reflects an awareness that the new regulations can affect anyone because it has been framed so widely,” AFP reported The Online Citizen’s (TOC) Choo Zheng Xi as saying.

Choo is reported to be the spokesperson for the blogger’s protest.

On TOC’s page, the blackout – which is to last for 24 hours starting this morning – further read, “This is what it feels like if you are not able to read or know”.

S’pore bloggers hold online blackout to protest new law




Singapore: Internet freedom under threat

Is the government silencing the opposition by introducing the new licensing regime to control internet freedom?

Last Modified: 03 Jun 2013 14:38
Kirsten Han
Kirsten Han is a freelance journalist and blogger from Singapore, with an interest in human rights and social justice issues. A social media junkie through-and-through, she is currently a Master’s student in Journalism, Media and Communication at Cardiff University.

Alarm bells rang among the Singaporean online community as the government revealed a new licensing scheme for news websites that could potentially give a heavy blow to grassroots citizen journalism.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has announced that Singaporean news websites with about 50,000 unique hits a month will now require individual licences to operate.

These licenses come with a 50,000-Singapore dollar (US $39,500) “performance bond” and a commitment to take down anything deemed to be in breach of content standards within 24 hours.

Ten websites were singled out in the MDA’s announcement as being in need of individual licences. Only one of them – Yahoo! Singapore – does not belong to a local mainstream media outlet. Yet the outcry among Singaporeans has shown that no one really believes the government will stop at these ten.

Singapore’s mainstream media has been licensed and regulated for years. Under the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (NPPA) and the Broadcasting Act, the government has had the power to grant or deny permits to operate, as well as to appoint management shareholders.

This has led to a suppressed mainstream media reduced to favouring the state narrative in much of its coverage, constantly aware of its “accountability” to the government. The memoir of Cheong Yip Seng, former editor-in-chief of Singapore’s major newspaper The Straits Times, is just one chronicle of government interference in the media.

The advent of the internet shifted the balance. Singaporeans, used to the top-down method of communication, found themselves able to go from passive consumers to active producers of news, commentary and analysis. Rather than wait for the official take, it was now much easier for concerned citizens to participate.

But this democratisation of content production and discussion is now under threat from the new licensing regime. While commercial media outlets might be able to pay the hefty “performance bond”, it is difficult to think of a community blog that would be able to come up with such a sum. Without the ability to get a licence, these blogs would then have to shut down, depriving the public of both an information channel and a space to express themselves.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Singapore: #FreeMyInternet: Bloggers hold Blackout Protest (in vain, I think)

  1. Pingback: All my Posts on Singapore | weehingthong

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s