SINGAPORE -- Singapore's government has blocked access to the popular adultery website Ashley Madison amid a public outcry ahead of the company's planned launch of a portal for the city-state.
The Media Development Authority, which regulates the Internet, said in a statement late Friday that it has blocked access to the Canada-based website because it is in "flagrant disregard of our family values and public morality."
"We will therefore not allow Ashley Madison to operate in Singapore and have worked with Internet service providers to block access to the site," the statement said.
AshleyMadison.com started in Canada in 2001. With the slogan "Life is short. Have an affair," it has attracted more than 20 million users.
It recently expanded to Japan, India and Hong Kong, and was planning to launch a Singapore portal later this month.
Thousands of Singaporeans, including a Cabinet minister, have expressed outrage and urged the government to block the website.
Some citizens, however, disagreed with the ban.
"What will the government ban next? A movie about adultery? An erotic novel? It's just plain silly and not having this website around doesn't mean people still can't cheat if they want to," said Shalini Nair, 35, who has been married for six years.
Ashley Madison has reportedly said it will explore legal means to overcome the ban.