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Technology and censorship are often seen as opposing forces in the information age This tension is exemplified by the case of Singapore which wants to harness new technologies for development while having censorship controls in place This paper looks at how Singapore is going about censorship of the Internet It is part of a larger study into how Singapore proposes to censor without losing the advantages of new technologies The paper begins by noting that censorship in Singapore is justified on historical and socio- political grounds Both the government and the people want it favouring caution and prevention over liberalism In line with these desires the Singapore government has drawn up guidelines for censorship In practice however some of these principles conflict especially when censorship of the Internet is attempted The paper then looks at problems in censorship of the Internet and examines some censorship measures that have been attempted The paper concludes with the observation that current thinking suggests it is almost impossible to both control information and reap the benefits of the information age Singapore is trying nevertheless 1 Introduction In 1991 Singapores National Computer Board a quasi-government body that looks into the use of computers began a study on how information technology could be harnessed to create new competitive advantages and improve the quality of life in Singapore Also in that year the Ministry of Information and the Arts began its once-a-decade review of censorship laws and standards across all media When both reports were completed it was clear that neither technology nor censorship could stand without one considering the other Some censorship laws could impact negatively the diffusion of computers in society On the other hand new forms of media were making it difficult to
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