SINGAPORE: Singapore bloggers are planning a rally and an “Internet blackout” this week to protest controversial new rules they say will muzzle freedom of speech, organizers said on Monday.
A coalition of 34 prominent bloggers called “Free My Internet” will stage the rally on Saturday, a week after the surprise regulations kicked in on June 1 requiring news websites—including one operated by US-based Yahoo!—to obtain licenses from the city-state’s official media regulator.
The bloggers will also replace their homepages with black screens featuring the words “#Freemyinternet” for 24 hours on Thursday.
“There is a need for this physical protest because numerous dialogues with the government over the last five years about liberalization and deregulating the Internet have actually concluded in the opposite,” said Choo Zheng Xi, a spokesman for the group.
“We want the government to know that the people need to be consulted, and that parliament needs to be consulted before sweeping changes are made to legislation.”