Internet big boys take aim at Singapore’s 'regressive' new rules

The Internet and related industries have become an important sector for Singapore, with revenues last year growing 23 per cent to S$103 billion (HK$622.95 billion). Photo: Reuters

Singapore’s move to tighten regulation of news web sites, already under fire from bloggers and human rights groups, has attracted criticism from an unexpected quarter - large internet firms with a big presence in the city-state who say the new rules will hurt the industry

Monday, 8 July, 2013, 3:35pm 3 comments

Gambia to jail internet users making fun of government

 Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been criticised for muzzling free speech and accused of human rights abuses. Photo: AP

Lawmakers in the Gambia have introduced long jail terms for anyone convicted of going online to poke fun at the government or public officials.

Under the new law, Internet users face up to 15 years’ imprisonment and US$90,000 fines for a raft of offences including spreading “false news” against or even “caricaturing” government functionaries and politicians.

5 Jul 2013 - 12:20pm 1 comment

Shanghai lacks self-confidence in how it restricts news of Taiwan bookstore

Eslite Bookstore in Hong Kong

I like Taipei. The city may not be as modern and fashionable as Hong Kong or Shanghai, but it has something that the other two cities may have already lost. The thing is called culture.

24 Jun 2013 - 8:20am 3 comments

Taiwan bookstore chain Eslite's Shanghai plans in doubt after censors order blackout

Eslite store in doubt after blackout

A well-publicised plan by Taiwan bookstore chain Eslite to open a branch in what is to become Shanghai's tallest building may have hit a snag as the mainland's propaganda department suddenly ordered a news blackout on the project.

21 Jun 2013 - 7:41am 5 comments

We can delete it for you wholesale

Sleep: not so important

While the anti-corruption crackdown on the mainland is causing a degree of pain for those in the restaurant and luxury goods business, it has been good news for another kind of business.

31 May 2013 - 4:41am

Iranian authorities deny controlling internet access ahead of presidential polls

A webpage of political and religious slogans greets internet users in Iran trying to visit Facebook, which is blocked by officials. Photo: AFP

Iran is tightening control of the internet ahead of next month's presidential election, mindful of violent street protests that social networkers inspired last time around over claims of fraud, users and experts say.

20 May 2013 - 5:51am

Hunan censor tells of battle against pornography

Hunan censor tells of battle against pornography

A month after Hunan's anti-pornography department busted a provider of indecent videos, provincial television got a rare interview with one of the officials in charge of looking through the seized material.

14 May 2013 - 3:53am

'You have to watch it even if you don't want to,' says senior pornography censor in China

Liu Xiaozhen speaks to Hunan Television. Photo: Screenshot

A month after Hunan's anti-pornography department busted a provider of indecent videos, provincial television got a rare interview with one of the officials in charge of looking through the seized material.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Seven subjects off limits for teaching, Chinese universities told

Mainland universities have been ordered to steer clear of seven topics in their teaching, including universal values, press freedom and civil rights, two university staff said, offering an insight into ideological control under the new Communist Party leaders.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Censors plan to back off on brazen Bollywood

The film The Dirty Picture had to be cut 60 times before it was deemed suitable for television screens. Photo: AFP

India's all-powerful censor board is planning a lighter approach to Bollywood after decades chopping tens of thousands of film scenes, from onscreen kisses to violent endings.

Set up by British rulers in the 1920s to block American movies with anti-colonial sentiment, the board went on to cut Indian films as much for their supposedly racy content as for their political overtones.

6 May 2013 - 4:06am

Censorship holds back Chinese progress

Demonstrators call for press freedom in support of journalists from the Southern Weekend newspaper outside the company's office building in Guangzhou. Photo: AFP

World Press Freedom Day, celebrated today, was designated by the UN in 1993 to remind governments of their duty to uphold free speech and the free press, as outlined by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

3 May 2013 - 3:41am 2 comments

New regulations in China ban journalists from quoting foreign media

The front-page of the China Press and Publishing Journal, April 16, 2013. Screenshot from its website

On the day Chinese journalists woke up to news that the New York Times won a Pulitzer for its report on former Premier Wen Jiabao's family fortune, China's media regulator issued new regulations banning reports on foreign media coverage.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Myanmar must not gag its media

Myanmar ends 50-year state monopoly over daily news. Photo: EPA

Of all Myanmar's reforms, few are as fundamentally important to the nation's people as media freedom. The recent launch of four privately owned newspapers - the first of 16 given approval to publish daily by the quasi-civilian government - is a small but vital step on that road. A six-decade stranglehold on the press by the military deprived citizens of basic rights and information. Remaining doubts about authorities' sincerity and intentions will be vanquished if journalists are again able to do their jobs without fear or favour.

11 Apr 2013 - 3:03am

'How much longer for us?' ask Chinese after Myanmar ends media censorship

A street vendor reads a new private daily newspaper at a roadside stall in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: EPA

Netizens - anxious about media censorship in China - experienced both envy and excitement on Tuesday, a day after privately-owned daily newspapers hit Myanmar’s streets for the first time in decades.

2 Apr 2013 - 2:08pm 1 comment

No criticism of Maoism: Dubious 'media guidelines from censors' circulate internet

A screenshot of the media guidelines on the Red Song Society website that have since been taken down. Photo: SCMP Pictures

A list of purported new guidelines for Chinese media banning criticism of former leader Mao Zedong was circulated online during the weekend, causing cheer among leftists and disdain among liberals. 

The guidelines ban statements that criticise Mao and call for the removal of journalists and educators who are not loyal to the party. 

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am