The editor of local socio-political website, The Online Citizen (TOC), Terry Xu, took to Facebook on Tuesday evening to appeal for any lawyers to assist them in a case against the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).
In a post to all of his social media contacts, Terry said, “any lawyer friends who want to help TOC to rebut IMDA’s demand to prove that the money collected from subscribers are legit?”
His post then was picked up and shared on public social media groups.
Xu’s plea came with rather serious consequences for the company: If not, I think TOC will be closed in end of the month by IMDA
He also said rather resignedly, “I am too tired to argue with IMDA already. If they want to close TOC through all these nitty gritty stuff then let them”.
With the post, Terry also shared what looked like a letter from IMDA.
In another post on Wednesday evening, Terry explained the situation publicly.
“IMDA is asking for the donors to be listed with NRIC (which TOC should not have the authority to do so under the new privacy regulations) and also explain what kind of benefits do subscribers get when they subscribe”.
He said, “This is out of norm and it exceeds the authority that IMDA has. TOC under the Form C declaration only has to ensure that all funds are local source other than bona fide commercial transaction such as advertising”.
Terry also volunteered, “The only two entities that are governed under this regulation framework in Singapore is The Independent SG and TOC but only TOC solicits donations from the public and runs a subscription programme”./TISG
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