Singapore moots ‘foreign interference’ law with powers to issue online platforms take-down order
Singapore has delayed new laws that would arm the government with the ability to issue directives to different platforms, such as social media sites. The government would also obtain the power to block or remove any content deemed to be a part of hostile information campaigns. The proposed bill was designed to detect and prevent foreign interference in local politics, an issue that has plagued many countries in recent elections. The proposed bill was unveiled on Monday in the parliament, named the Foreign Interference Bill.
In the announcement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) noted that it witness abnormal spikes in social media content when the country was facing bilateral issues with another country. This incident occurred in late 2018 and 2019, however, more recent instances where social media and communications technologies were abused for online information campaigns were highlighted in the statement as well. The statement also mentioned that foreign actors set up troll farms ahead of the 2020 US presidential elections to highlight controversial domestic issues and promote certain candidates.