Hacktivist censures Singapore newspaper over crackdown on freedom of speech

Government (Foreign) // Media // Singapore

The individual, self-dubbed “the Messiah,” defaced The Straits Times for deceiving citizens about forthcoming Internet licensing rules that critics describe as state censorship.

In an earlier YouTube video, this person argued that “no government has the right to deprive their citizens the freedom of information”, and called on “fellow Singaporean brothers and sisters” to protest on Nov. 5 if the licensing proposals aren’t scrapped.

The individual then attacked Straits Times, after its coverage of the video, “chose to conveniently modify the sentence ‘war against the Singapore Government’ into ‘war against Singapore.’”

The Messiah vandalized a news webpage with the message: “Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!" according to Singapore newspaper TODAY

According to the Register, the licensing plan announced earlier this year will require online news sites reporting on Singapore to put up a “performance bond” of S$50,000 and “comply within 24 hours to [government] directions to remove content that is found to be in breach of content standards.”

Singapore's government either directly or indirectly owns traditional media. So, the forthcoming regulations are viewed as a way to control the content of foreign owned and independent sites.

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.