Singapore: Minister of State for Communications and Information Lawrence Wong has given the assurance that there are proper safeguards for the screening of R21 films on pay-TV.
Parliament was told on Friday that R21 content is only offered as a Video-on-Demand (VOD) service.
The service arose from a recommendation by the 2010 Censorship Review Committee (CRC), which conducts periodic reviews of Singapore's content regulation standards and policies.
"In accepting this CRC's recommendation, we had recognised the need to provide adults with mature content while at the same time protecting our young" said Mr Wong.
"We also recognised that VOD on pay TV allows for a higher degree of parental oversight, with the availability of an easy-to-use parental lock mechanism to prevent unauthorised access by under-aged viewers.
"VOD is also a paid service whereby consumers make a conscious choice to purchase the videos they wish to watch" said the Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.
TV operators must include a parental lock mechanism to prevent access by under-aged viewers.
The content can only be unlocked by a PIN number, the House was told.
Existing VOD customers who request for the PIN number will need to have their identity verified over the phone using the name, age, NRIC number and date of birth.
As an additional safeguard, pay TV operators will also ask the caller to provide information ranging from date of last bill payment to the location of payment.
As for new customers, they are required to personally sign up and show proof of their age at retail shops.
Since the VOD is a paid service, consumers will have to make a conscious choice to buy the videos they wish to watch.
When the content is bought, there's another layer of checks, such as a monthly bill breakdown of the R21 videos bought, from the title, to the date and time.
This will allow parents to check if their children have gained access to R21 content without their knowledge.................
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