Singtel, Starhub users unable to view Russian-funded TV news channel since Friday, Latest Tech News - The New Paper

Singtel, Starhub users unable to view Russian-funded TV news channel since Friday

StarHub and Singtel TV subscribers have not been able to get RT, a news channel funded by Russia, since Friday (March 4) night.

Viewers were instead greeted with the message: "Transmission disruption at source. We are working with our partners to resume service. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."

When contacted, StarHub and Singtel said the issue lies with their content provider Globecast, an international media company.

Access to RT is being blocked across Europe, with sanctions imposed against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Sputnik, another Russian state-funded media outlet, has also been blocked from broadcasting across the European Union.

News agency AFP reported the move last Sunday by EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, quoting her as saying the outlets "will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's war and to sow division in our Union".

Social media sites Facebook and TikTok have blocked access to RT and Sputnik in the EU, Reuters reported.

Similarly, Google has blocked YouTube channels connected to RT and Sputnik across Europe.

The tech giant has also prevented the websites of various Russian state-funded media outlets from appearing in its news-related features, such as Google News.

This is part of measures to stop the spread of misinformation and disrupt disinformation campaigns online, said Google's president for global affairs Kent Walker in a blog post on Tuesday.

"This builds on our indefinite pause of monetisation of Russian state-funded media across our platforms, meaning media outlets such as RT are not allowed to monetise their content or advertise on our platforms," he added.

In Singapore, RT, formerly known as Russia Today, was still accessible on YouTube and Facebook, when ST checked.

Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Feb 24 after months of tension at the border, with Russian troops massing and conducting military exercises. Its actions have been condemned by countries around the world, including Singapore.

Singapore's sanctions include a ban on various exports to Russia, including electronics, computers and military goods, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.

Banks and financial institutions here will also be banned from doing business with four Russian banks.