New proposed bill to cover a wide range of online criminal offences

A new bill will allow the government to order the takedown of online accounts and websites that are suspected of being used for scams.

More from OMY: Singapore sees surge of phishing scams involving Singpass

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the new bill will tackle online content that’s criminal in nature, or those that are used to abet crimes. This includes:

Terrorism and internal security

  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Moneylending
  • Harmony between different races, religions, or classes of the population
  • Incitement to violence
  • Breaches of the Official Secrets Act
  • Scams and malicious cyber activities
  • Sexual offences such as child abuse and voyeuristic material

Last year, scams and cybercrime hit 33,669. Meanwhile, scam victims were cheated of over S$660.7 million.

“Scams and malicious cyber activities that are propagated online can harm many people in a short time. Numerous websites, online accounts, and content are created every day to facilitate such crimes,” said MHA.

The proposed bill will help the government take “swift action” against malicious activities that may harm more victims. This is on top of education efforts, as well as the engagement of banks and telcos.

For instance, to prevent loan scams, government directions can be issued to block website access.

Last year, parliament passed amendments to the Broadcasting Act which empowers the government to deal with harmful online content in Singapore regardless of where it is initiated or hosted. This includes content advocating for self-harm, violence, suicide, terrorism, child sexual exploitation, public health risks, and racial and religious disharmony.

More from OMY: At least 148 victims targeted by scammers posing as Government Officers since January

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