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The politics of internet policy and (auto-)regulation in Singapore

Lee, T. (2001) The politics of internet policy and (auto-)regulation in Singapore. Media International Australia, 101 . pp. 33-42.


As an extension of my earlier work on 'Internet Regulation in Singapore' (Lee and Birch, 2000), this paper provides an update on Singapore's relentless drive towards new media regulation and ideological/political control. Taking on board the discourse of auto-regulation - that regulating the internet in Singapore is really about ensuring an 'automatic functioning of power' for the sake of political expedience and longevity - this paper offers some new insights into the politics of internet auto-regulation in Singapore, from its humble beginnings of censorship and 'sleaze' control (in the mid-1990s) to recent attempts at restricting free flows of information via new laws governing foreign broadcasters and the 'liberal' stifling of online political campaigning and debates (in 2001). I conclude that, despite its authoritarian leanings, the 'success' of Singapore's internet and cultural policy of auto-regulation gives it a potential to become the global-accepted regulatory mindset.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
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