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Legislation against spam to be put in place in Singapore



To reduce e-mail spam1 in Singapore, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has worked closely with the three major Internet Service Providers, Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE), Direct Marketing Association of Singapore (DMAS), Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) to introduce a multi-pronged approach to tackle e-mail spam.

The various anti-spam measures developed aim to protect the interests of e-mail users from the impact of e-mail spam.

Spam is a complex, multi-faceted issue and there is no single solution against spam. Therefore, a multi-pronged policy approach is required to address spam related concerns from e-mail users.

This includes public education (including the use of appropriate technology measures), industry self-regulation, anti-spam legislation and international cooperation. The multi-pronged approach serves as a concerted effort by the public and private sectors to address the issues and curb spam in Singapore.

The specific initiatives under each approach are:

(A) Public Education
Public education on measures that end-users can take forms a vital backbone in reducing e-mail spam in Singapore. This is because end-user measures are the first line of defence against e-mail spam, as most spam comes from overseas.

According to IDA's survey on unsolicited e-mails in 20032, 42% of e-mail users in Singapore are unaware of how they can protect their e-mails against spam. Public education programmes are therefore important and the following initiatives adopted include:

(i) National Anti-Spam Website
An anti-spam website, named the "Singapore Anti-Spam Resource Centre" (, has been launched today to provide a central anti-spam repository for the public and industry. This website jointly developed by IDA, Pacific Internet, SingNet, StarHub, CASE, DMAS, SBF and SiTF will provide visitors with general information about spam and resources for combating spam for both individuals and organisations.

(ii) IDA Anti-spam Awareness Drive
As part of e-Celebrations campaign this year, IDA will include information on spam prevention through its e-lifestyle public education efforts. Public education on anti-spam measures will be incorporated into the National IT Literacy Programme and Infocomm Security Awareness Programme.

In addition, public seminars and workshops will be organised and marketing collaterals will be developed to educate the public on the steps that they can take to protect themselves from spam. This includes promoting public awareness on the anti-spam technologies available to reduce e-mail spam. IDA will also work with business associations to educate the business community on the proper rules of marketing via e-mail.

(iii) SiTF Anti-spam Initiative
To increase awareness of e-mail spam prevention among the public, the SiTF launched an anti-spam promotion today to fight e-mail spam in Singapore.

As part of this promotion, members of SiTF Security Chapter including Brightmail, Computer Associates, Network Associates Software, Sophos, Symantec and Ufinity are offering free trial of anti-spam software from 30-90 days to allow e-mail users to try and identify suitable software solutions that meet their needs.

In addition, SiTF will also be organising an anti-spam forum in June to educate the public on the impact of spam. The forum supported by IDA will also serve to explore potential ways of tackling the spam problem in Singapore.



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25 May 2004