Building Firewalls: MDA Blocks Ashley Madison

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has blocked access to the controversial Ashley Madison website in Singapore. 

I am thankful my fellow citizens have rallied together these past weeks to take a stand against organisations and businesses that seek to profit from broken marriages and families. I am thankful for the numerous channels we can go through to take our petitions to our Members of Parliament. I am thankful that our Singapore government heard our concerns and responded swiftly to the vocal protests from the community. Most of all, I am thankful that because of this pre-emptive move, more marriages will be preserved and more children will be protected from the destruction and grief of divorce.

Marriages and families go through tough times, so although we cannot put out every single fire, we can all do our part to to build firewalls around our families and nation.

In a statement on Friday evening, MDA said it is against the public interest to allow Ashley Madison to promote its website in flagrant disregard of family values and public morality.

MDA said the government adopts a pragmatic and light-touch approach to regulating Internet content.

The Internet Code of Practice allows MDA to work with Internet service providers to block certain sites which contain prohibited content.

But MDA recognises that site blocking is not a perfect way of denying access to prohibited content as it can be circumvented.

MDA added that there are many sites with undesirable content on the Internet and it is not practical to block every one of them.

It therefore blocks a limited number of sites as a symbolic statement of the types of content which the community is opposed to.

MDA said the Ashley Madison website, however, stands out as it aggressively promotes and facilitates extramarital affairs and has declared that it will specifically target Singaporeans.

It noted that the website founder had given an interview to a local newspaper and apparently said he intends to fly into Singapore to launch the Singapore site in the week of November 17.

The National Family Council (NFC) welcomes the move by MDA to block Ashley Madison from launching in Singapore.

NFC said it has been consistent in taking a firm stand against the website since news broke in October that it plans to launch a local edition.

It said it believes that such websites are detrimental to the foundations of a family.

NFC added it does not welcome any website that undermines the trust and commitment in a marriage.

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