S’pore to tighten chatline rules to curb sex crimes

Agence France Presse

Singapore, April 16:

Singapore said today it will tighten rules on telephone chatline operators following a rise in the number of sex crimes against youngsters using the services. The 30 telephone operators will be required to adhere to a code of practice of safeguards "to protect young users from potential harm," industry regulator Media Development Authority said. "The agency is doing this in response to police concerns about a rise in the number of chatline-related sexual crimes involving young victims."

Under the new code, to be introduced on June 1, operators must "remove sexually explicit or offensive messages on their services that are accessible to the public," the authority said.

Chatlines will no longer be allowed to be used to solicit prostitution and operators will be banned from placing advertisements teenagers.