Parliament Sitting on 4 April 2022

QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER


35. Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) why was the anti-SMS spoofing registry shut just about over a month after government agencies announced their intent to join the registry; (b) whether adequate time was given for the agencies to assess the new decision; (c) what are the ways by which the full-fledged Singapore SMS SenderID Registry will be superior; (d) how will it put us in line with international practices; and (e) what is the timeline for banks, government agencies and interested organisations to be fully onboarded.


Answer:

1. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and its subsidiary, the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), have set up a full-fledged Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) which commenced operations on 4 March 2022. It replaced the SMS Sender ID Registry pilot, which was started by IMDA and the Monetary Authority of Singapore in August 2021. The pilot was done in collaboration with the UK Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF). 

2. Under the previous MEF's model, spoofed SMSes that use a registered Sender ID will still be received by consumers, until the Sender ID owner confirms that the spoofed SMSes are not legitimate and should be blocked. The new SSIR takes a more proactive approach. It can block spoofed SMSes upfront and provides greater control over anti-spoof measures that better protect Singaporeans. The pilot with MEF provided useful insights which has helped IMDA to set up the SSIR quickly. In addition, the SSIR will offer a more affordable pricing model to enable more widespread participation, especially for SMEs that are interested to sign up for the service.

3. Internationally, Singapore is one of the first few countries to have implemented a national SMS Sender ID Registry to better prevent spoofed SMSes. 1. As of 30 March 2022, 25 organisations, including banks and government agencies, have joined the SSIR. Organisations such as the Association of Banks in Singapore, Mobile Network Operators, and SMS service providers are in full support of the SSIR, which continues to onboard new organisations interested in protecting their SMS Sender IDs.