Silicon valley firms at odds with Singapore

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yahoo SingaporeNew online content rules in Singapore have promted five Silicon Valley-based web giants to voice their concern to the city state’s government about a licensing regime imposed by the local Media Development Authority in May 2013.

Google, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo and Salesforce have launched the so-called Asian Internet Coalition (AIC), which wrote a letter to Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim in mid-June expressing their views on the new licensing framework, which so far affects a news site operated by Yahoo Singapore.

The letter said that the Internet companies were “surprised”, noting that “the scope and manner in which the regulation was introduced has negatively impacted Singapore’s global image as an open and business-friendly country”.

It added that “the regulatory trend that this may be indicative of could unintentionally hamper Singapore’s ability to continue to drive innovation, develop key industries in the technology space and attract investment in this key sector.”

The firms said that the rules were an “additional layer of regulation, which has also introduced significant business uncertainty for the industry.”

Meanwhile, the ministry responded and said that is will continue its “light touch approach” in regulating the Internet. A spokesperson said that the content standards serve to address only “core content concerns”, and that they protect “fundamentals most important to the Singapore society”.

The regulations demand that web sites that publish one article per week on Singapore over the course of two months – or have at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a two month period – require an individual license. Any content deemed “prohibited” would be forcibly removed within 24 hours of notice. Digital news outlets would be required to pay $50,000 in local currency for a license which has to be renewed annually.

The full protest letter by the AIC can be read here.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

New online content rules in Singapore have promted five Silicon Valley-based web giants to voice their concern to the city state’s government about a licensing regime imposed by the local Media Development Authority in May 2013.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

yahoo SingaporeNew online content rules in Singapore have promted five Silicon Valley-based web giants to voice their concern to the city state’s government about a licensing regime imposed by the local Media Development Authority in May 2013.

Google, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo and Salesforce have launched the so-called Asian Internet Coalition (AIC), which wrote a letter to Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim in mid-June expressing their views on the new licensing framework, which so far affects a news site operated by Yahoo Singapore.

The letter said that the Internet companies were “surprised”, noting that “the scope and manner in which the regulation was introduced has negatively impacted Singapore’s global image as an open and business-friendly country”.

It added that “the regulatory trend that this may be indicative of could unintentionally hamper Singapore’s ability to continue to drive innovation, develop key industries in the technology space and attract investment in this key sector.”

The firms said that the rules were an “additional layer of regulation, which has also introduced significant business uncertainty for the industry.”

Meanwhile, the ministry responded and said that is will continue its “light touch approach” in regulating the Internet. A spokesperson said that the content standards serve to address only “core content concerns”, and that they protect “fundamentals most important to the Singapore society”.

The regulations demand that web sites that publish one article per week on Singapore over the course of two months – or have at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a two month period – require an individual license. Any content deemed “prohibited” would be forcibly removed within 24 hours of notice. Digital news outlets would be required to pay $50,000 in local currency for a license which has to be renewed annually.

The full protest letter by the AIC can be read here.

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