Nov 06, 2013

    Anon protest: One hack of a letdown

    A CALL to Singaporeans by international hacktivist group Anonymous to join its protest against the Government did not appear to take off in a big way yesterday.

    Several Facebook users here blacked out their profile pictures yesterday, in a show of virtual protest allegedly called upon by Anonymous. But many stayed away from it, including some bloggers.

    There also seemed to be no major cyberattacks on websites yesterday, a contrast to the recent spate of hacking incidents.

    Still, Ah Boys To Men actor Ridhwan Azman appeared to have his YouTube and Twitter accounts hacked by people claiming ties with Anonymous last evening. One tweet from Ridhwan’s account had a linked message by Anonymous.

    It said that Nov 5 “wasn’t a success” and Anonymous could not book Speakers’ Corner despite trying to get a permit. It added that Anonymous is a “non-violent” movement and “will not go against the law in order to put a point across”.

    Last week, a person claiming he was from Anonymous threatened the Government in a YouTube clip that the group would strike at Singapore’s infrastructure, if its demands to have an online-news licensing framework repealed were not met.

    The managing editor of sociopolitical blog The Online Citizen, Mr Choo Zheng Xi, said that it will continue to push for the repeal of the website-licensing regime.

    But it “refuses to implicitly or explicitly condone intentional violations of the law which are calculated to sabotage and disrupt Internet services which innocent third parties rely on for data”.

    Mr Howard Lee, spokesman for the Free My Internet movement, reiterated that the group “believes in open and direct engagement with the Government” and is “not inclined to support” Anonymous as its identity and objectives are unclear.

    Mr Benjamin Lee, more famously known as blogger Mr Miyagi, said what the hacker is doing just “solidifies the rationale” behind more licensing and regulation of the Internet.

    Meanwhile, police said on Facebook that some people could have planned a public assembly last night. It reminded the public that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit is illegal.

    “Those who break the law will be seriously dealt with,” the police added.