Singapore turns heavy artillery on spammers

A comprehensive plan to combat unsolicited e-mail (spam) involving the participation of Singapore’s three main ISPs and a variety of industry groups has been announced by the country’s information and communications technology regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

One initiative is the setting up of a national anti-spam Web site known as the Singapore Anti-Spam Resource Centre (, jointly developed by IDA, the three ISPs — Pacific Internet Ltd., SingNet Pte. Ltd. and StarHub Pte. Ltd. — plus the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE), Direct Marketing Association of Singapore (DMAS), Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF).

This Web site is part of a broader public awareness campaign on how to combat spam, along with free trials of anti-spam software from several leading vendors, IDA said in a statement Tuesday.

Singapore will also introduce legislation under which ISPs can take civil action against spammers for any loss or damage caused as a result of spam.

IDA and the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore have issued a joint consultation paper which proposes a legislative framework to control e-mail spam in Singapore.

“It is clear that there is no silver bullet to eradicate spam,” IDA said in the paper. “A judicious combination of appropriate legislation, public education, industry self-regulation, technical measures and international cooperation is likely to be the best way forward.”

Spam is an issue that requires a concerted effort by the government, industry, public and the Internet community, said Leong Keng Thai, deputy chief executive and director-general (telecoms) of the IDA, in the statement.

The new initiative seeks to balance the interests of legitimate businesses advertising via e-mails and interests of users who have the right to opt out of unsolicited e-mails, Leong said.

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