Singapore: Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill passed and expected to take effect in 2023

In brief

As predicted in our newsletter published earlier this month (accessible here), the Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill ("Bill") was read a second time in Parliament and was passed into law on 9 November 2022. While the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has not released the commencement date of the new laws, they, together with the Code of Practice for Online Safety ("Code of Practice"), are likely to kick in as early as 2023.


In more detail

To recap, the Bill will create a new part in the existing Broadcasting Act ("Act") to regulate "Online Communication Services" (OCS), which are electronic services that enable users to access or communicate content via the Internet.

This new part in the Act will only apply to specified types of OCS, which will be listed in the Fourth Schedule of the Act. At present, only social media services will be regulated as an OCS under the Act as a matter of priority. However, the list of OCS may expand over time as part of the Government's targeted, accretive approach towards regulating different types of OCS.

Together with the amended Act, the Code of Practice (which will spell out the safeguards needed to prevent users, especially minors, from accessing harmful content) is also expected to be released in 2023, after a final round of consultation with social media firms. You may refer to our June newsletter here for further elaboration on the expected obligations under the Code of Practice.

For reference, a draft Code of Practice has been issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in October 2022 here, although we would expect further revisions in the final version.

* * * * *


© 2022 Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow. All rights reserved. Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow is incorporated with limited liability and is a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a global law firm with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a "principal" means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an "office" means an office of any such law firm. This may qualify as "Attorney Advertising" requiring notice in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Copyright © 2023 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Ownership: This documentation and content (Content) is a proprietary resource owned exclusively by Baker McKenzie (meaning Baker & McKenzie International and its member firms). The Content is protected under international copyright conventions. Use of this Content does not of itself create a contractual relationship, nor any attorney/client relationship, between Baker McKenzie and any person. Non-reliance and exclusion: All Content is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal and regulatory developments. All summaries of the laws, regulations and practice are subject to change. The Content is not offered as legal or professional advice for any specific matter. It is not intended to be a substitute for reference to (and compliance with) the detailed provisions of applicable laws, rules, regulations or forms. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action or refraining from taking any action based on any Content. Baker McKenzie and the editors and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the Content and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the Content. The Content may contain links to external websites and external websites may link to the Content. Baker McKenzie is not responsible for the content or operation of any such external sites and disclaims all liability, howsoever occurring, in respect of the content or operation of any such external websites. Attorney Advertising: This Content may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. To the extent that this Content may qualify as Attorney Advertising, PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME. Reproduction: Reproduction of reasonable portions of the Content is permitted provided that (i) such reproductions are made available free of charge and for non-commercial purposes, (ii) such reproductions are properly attributed to Baker McKenzie, (iii) the portion of the Content being reproduced is not altered or made available in a manner that modifies the Content or presents the Content being reproduced in a false light and (iv) notice is made to the disclaimers included on the Content. The permission to re-copy does not allow for incorporation of any substantial portion of the Content in any work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form or for commercial purposes.