Hackers plan to ‘go to war’ with Singapore’s online policies
A group of hackers that claim to be affiliated with Anonymous have recently threatened to attack Singapore's financial infrastructure following legislation that many feel will limit internet freedom.
"Hacktivist" groups have been growing more active as of late as limitations on what can and cannot be posted on the Internet are becoming commonplace in some countries throughout the world. In these situations, acting governments are looking to increase how much control they have over the discussions that occur online.
It is becoming increasingly easy for people to share their voice online. Social media is providing people with multiple avenues to which they can post their various thoughts on anything from a silly .gif to political problems that are pertinent to their home countries and the world at large. Blogs are also becoming places where citizen journalists can report on news throughout the country. However, it is this latter form of speech that is quickly becoming a cause of concern for some governments including Singapore.
Hackers 'go to war'
Phys.org reported that a person allegedly affiliated with the hacker group Anonymous recently posted a video claiming that they will attack the city-state's financial infrastructure in protest of the country's recent policy regarding licensing for news websites.
The news source explained that the video portrayed a mans voice from behind a mask for 3 minutes and 42 seconds demanding that the government must reconsider the regulations of the legislation or it will be the victim of a cyber intrusion.
The speaker in the video also claimed that the government's existing cybersecurity defense systems would not be able to stop the attack.
Licensing policy or censorship?
Many feel that the policy in question would enable the government to control what can and cannot be posted online within the country. The Associated Press noted that under the policy, which took effect in June 2013, any site that regularly reported on news from Singapore and has at least 50,000 visitors every month would be required to obtain a license every year.
On top of this, they would be required to remove any objectionable content within 24 hours of being notified. Phys.org explained that part of this content would include media that would disrupt "racial or religious harmony," however, many feel that this is more so an attempt for the government to control what kind of content is posted online.
In the video, the speaker encouraged people from the country to blackout their profiles on Facebook on November 5.