Anonymous has declared war on Singapore, threatening the island nation with cyber-attacks. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said today that Singapore will “spare no effort” when it comes to hunting down Anonymous hackers.
Lee’s comments came after the hacktivist group Anonymous threatened to deface and shut down Singapore government websites in protest of new licensing rules for online news outlets.
Here is the video where Anonymous “declares war” on Singapore:
A member of Anonymous hacked into a Singapore newspaper blog owned by The Straits Times last week, which heightened concern among government agencies.
The defaced blog post gave 48 hours for a journalist to resign and apologize for misleading the people of Singapore. If the journalist refused, it was threatened that Anonymous would ramp up its mischief directed at Singaporean websites. The Strait Times has stood by its author.
Singapore has recently announced that it will spend $130 million Singapore dollars over the next five years to improve network security. The country has also introduced a policy earlier this year that requires certain news websites to obtain licenses and remove offensive content when requested.
Opponents of the change argue that government censorship of the media is undemocratic. Singapore has a history of maintaining strict control over national media, and its latest rules will hamper free expression in blogs and social media.
Anonymous has long stood against censorship on the internet. The group led a worldwide day of protest on November 5, but Singaporean police have warned against assembling in public without a permit. A permit was sought but it was rejected with no explanation.
Anonymous members did not take to the streets of Singapore for fear of the draconian law enforcement and justice system. The country punishes graffiti artists by striking them with canes, leaving permanent scars–one wonders if masked vigilantes would be hanged, drawn, and quartered, à la Guy Fawkes, the inspiration behind the sinister masks.
The hacker who goes by the alias Messiah told Yahoo Singapore that Anonymous caused outages on dozens of Singapore government websites.
Singapore movie actor Ridhwan Azman had his Twitter account hacked after making disparaging tweets about Anonymous.
Perhaps Anonymous’ war on Singapore has just begun.
By K. Elsner