Singapore passes law to tackle ‘foreign interference,’ giving authorities the power to block internet content
Singapore has approved a law that grants broad powers to the government to deal with foreign interference, including the ability to block internet content. The law was approved by parliament earlier this week and is formally known as the Foreign Interference Countermeasures Act (FICA). FICA has sparked concern internationally and from the opposition about its wide scope and limitations on judicial review. During the vote, 75 members of the parliament voted in favor, while 11 opposed and two abstained from the vote.
FICA allows authorities to compel internet and social media service providers to provide user information, remove applications, and block content. Individuals who are designated as politically significant persons under the law will be forced to adhere to strict rules relating to donations and declare their links to foreign entities. According to the government, FICA does not apply to the building of overseas partnerships, soliciting overseas businesses, networking with foreigners, or sourcing for donations as long as these actions are done in an open and transparent manner and are not an attempt to manipulate political discourse or undermine security.