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Singaporeans create Google Chrome extension to bypass MDA internet filters

The Media Development Authority (MDA) Singapore for the past decade required local ISPs to insert Internet filters to prevent Singaporeans from surfing undesirable sites, mainly porn sites.

A group of guys from  EDMW(‘Eat-Drink-Men-Women) forum at Hardwarezone.com created a simple Google Chrome extension that allows Singapore Internet Users to bypass these filters easily. Ironically, this extension is only activated when one hits upon the ISPs' web site which state that the site is being filtered as a value add service.

Wrote e27.co.


The guys at EDMW, which stands for ‘Eat-Drink-Men-Women’, a popular forum on Singapore’s Hardwarezone.com, spent their Chinese New Year holidays collecting red packets and creating a Chrome extension called  ‘Go Away MDA’ to bypass the filters set up to ban websites. All users have to do is install the extension linked on the website, log in and enable Incognito mode for the extension.

The hobby project allows users to surf any website banned by the media censorship entity without getting tracked. The creator notes on the website his or her motivations (probably his, as the footnote cites ‘Bros’) for coming up with this awesome extension, “One, It was a CNY project as I was learning Twitter bootstrap. Two, I enjoy my Internet freedom, and urge all of you to never give that up, let alone to any government agencies. Three, I did have some blind hopes for it going viral.”

Bypassing the MDA filters could always be done by changing proxy servers or using sites that provide alternative proxies. However, this extension makes it even easier to the layman looking, well, to explore the censored regions of the Internet.

MDA might request or demand that Google remove this Chrome extension but the bottleneck would be at Google as this will be seen as many Google submitting to a government authority to censor the Internet and this goes against Google's goal of a free Internet.

However, it would still be interesting to see how long this extension last in the Chrome store.

Comments

brian said…
Hi Aaron,

Thanks for quoting e27, nice to know news gets around.

I'd just like to point out that e27 has rebranded to e27.co and we'd appreciate if you could amend e27.sg to e27.co

Thanks! keep blogging!

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