Singapore bans two porn websites in symbolic move

SINGAPORE Fri May 23, 2008 11:10am EDT

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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Singapore has banned access to two pornographic websites in a "symbolic statement" of the country's societal values, its media regulator said on Friday.

The two sites, which the regulator declined to identify but local media named as YouPorn and RedTube, work in a similar fashion to popular video-sharing website YouTube. The two Web sites allow users to add and download sex videos.

"It should be noted that the hardcore pornographic videos posted on these sites are very easily accessible by the young as each video will start streaming for free once a user clicks on the related link," said Jason Hoong, an official from the Media Development Authority (MDA).

The sites, which were banned after the authorities received feedback from the public, are the latest additions to a list of 100 "mass impact objectionable" pornographic websites banned in Singapore.

Singapore, which disallows the possession, distribution and making of pornographic films, defends its action as necessary to protect the young.

Online responses to a local media report on the ban have been unfavorable, with users condemning it as unnecessarily moralistic.

"I will definitely surf the Internet by proxy from now on, to be defiant so as to preserve my rights," wrote one user.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Roger Crabb)

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