New Singapore anti-terror law can order media blackout

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Singapore has introduced a law that gives the police special powers during terrorist attacks, including widely banning journalists and members of the public from reporting on the scene.

The law, which took effect on Wednesday, has the power to block all communications on-site ranging from photographs to videos, text and audio messages for up to a month, if authorities feel security operations could be compromised.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said the law would make the police more effective in responding to terrorist threats. It cited previous attacks in Mumbai and Paris, where live broadcasts allegedly allowed terrorists to anticipate the next move of security forces.

Individuals who flout the communications stop order face a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars ($14,891).