Jumaat, 1 November 2013

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

'Anonymous' hack puts Singapore on alert


SINGAPORE: Activist group Anonymous hacked a Singapore newspaper website Friday over Internet freedom in the city-state, where government agencies are now reportedly on alert for wider cyber attacks.

The website of the pro-government Straits Times was hacked early in the day by apparent members of the group, which is opposing recently introduced licensing rules for news websites in Singapore on censorship grounds.

The attackers, using the name "Messiah", took over the blog of a Straits Times journalist, saying she had distorted "our words and intentions" in a report on the group's threat a day earlier to "wage war" on the Singapore government.

"We oppose any form of Internet censorship among other things," said a post on the journalist's hacked blog, which is part of the newspaper's website and has been taken offline.

The hackers urged the journalist to apologise within 48 hours "to the citizens of Singapore for trying to mislead them".

If she fails to apologise, "then we expect her resignation", the hacker said in the hacked account, still visible in online caches.

"If those demands are met we will be on our way. But in the event our demands are not met in the next 48 hours, we will place you in our 'to do' list and next time you wont (sic) be let off this easy."

Asian media giant Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes the newspaper, said: "We have made a police report, and the police are investigating."

The attack on the Straits Times followed a post on the video-sharing site YouTube on Thursday in which a person claiming to speak for Anonymous warned the group would cause Singapore to suffer financial losses from "aggressive cyber intrusion".

Singapore, which has been governed by the same party for 54 years and strictly regulates the traditional media, is Southeast Asia's financial centre and hosts the regional headquarters of many global companies.

"We demand you reconsider the regulations of your (Internet) framework or we will be forced to go to war with you," a male voice said, addressing the government, as a person hiding behind a mask appeared in the YouTube clip.

The original video has been taken down, but has been copied by other users and can still be viewed online.

Reacting to the YouTube clip, Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority said: "We are aware of the video, and the police are investigating into the matter."

The Straits Times, meanwhile, said it had learned government agencies had been put on alert in Singapore following the initial threat on Thursday.

It said the alert directive came from the Government IT Security Incident Response Team, which was set up to coordinate responses to cyber attacks.

The new rules opposed by the hackers were imposed on June 1 and require annual licensing for news websites with at least 50,000 unique visitors from within Singapore every month.

Websites granted a licence must remove "prohibited content" such as articles that undermine "racial or religious harmony" within 24 hours of being notified by Singapore's media regulator.

The new rules have sparked anger in the city-state's robust blogging and social media community, which has accused the government of failing to carry out a consultation and raised fears the regulations are aimed at muzzling free expression.

Blogs and social media have gained popularity as alternative sources of news and opinion in Singapore, where mainstream newspapers and broadcasters are perceived to be pro-government.

Under Singapore's Internet code, prohibited content includes "material that is objectionable on the grounds of public interest, public morality, public order, public security, national harmony, or is otherwise prohibited by applicable Singapore laws."

Singapore authorities insist the licensing rules do not impinge on Internet freedom. -AFP

China accuses Japan of 'dangerous provocation' at sea


BEIJING: Beijing's military accused Tokyo of a "highly dangerous provocation" by interfering in Chinese live-fire drills in the Pacific last week, warning that Japanese lives could be at stake, state media reported Friday.

Japanese ships and aircraft tailed Chinese navy vessels conducting the exercise in the western Pacific ocean, the defence ministry said, according to reports.

"The actions of the Japanese ships and planes not only interfered with our normal exercises but also endangered the safe navigation of Chinese ships and planes, and might lead to misjudgment and accidental injuries," the state-run China Daily quoted defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun as saying.

Yang made the comments at the defence ministry's monthly press briefing, which foreign media are barred from attending.

According to China's state-run Global Times, the People's Liberation Army Navy was conducting drills in the western Pacific last Friday when a Japanese warship "broke into the drill zone" and remained in the area for three days.

An unspecified number of Japanese aircraft also entered the area several times, tailing and monitoring the Chinese vessels, the report said.

The ministry had lodged a "solemn representation" over the action, it added.

China gave advance warning through the International Maritime Organization on October 23 of its plans to conduct the drills, the Global Times said.

Tokyo took issue with the complaint, with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato saying: "Japan is conducting warning and surveillance activities in the surrounding waters appropriately.

"It is not true that Japan interfered with military drills by Chinese naval vessels," he said, adding Tokyo had already made its case to Beijing.

The furious Chinese response - and implicit threat - marks a further deterioration in their already fraught relationship, which has soured in recent years as the two Asian giants exchange tough rhetoric over disputed islands in the East China Sea and Japanese leaders' visits to a controversial Tokyo war shrine.

The latest escalation comes a week after Beijing's defence ministry said that any Japanese move to shoot down Chinese drones would amount to an "act of war".

Also last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned China over its maritime activities, saying in a speech to Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force troops: "We will demonstrate our intention not to allow a change in the status quo."

"We must conduct surveillance and intelligence activities for that purpose," Abe said in his address, according to Japan's Kyodo news service. -AFP

Indonesians strike nationwide for pay hike


JAKARTA: Tens of thousands of workers went on strike across Indonesia Friday for a second straight day, calling for huge salary hikes as Southeast Asia's top economy enjoys a prolonged boom.

But turnout was lower than the millions unions had promised and the labour movement was dealt a further blow when the Indonesian capital said it would raise the minimum wage by just 11 percent next year.

The wage in Jakarta will go up from 2.2 million rupiah (around $200) to around 2.4 million - a rise of just 11 percent next year, compared with a 44 percent rise workers in the capital got this year.

"The wage has been decided at 2.44 (million) rupiah," Jakarta governor Joko Widodo told reporters.

"There are risks to every decision. We hope this will not lead to any (rejection) by labourers," he added.

Thousands protested in front of his office, but it was "orderly and under control", national police spokesman Ronny Sompie told AFP.

"Around 50,000 workers took part in the strike across the country today, but they were mostly concentrated in Jakarta. The rallies were peaceful," adding that 30,000 workers protested in the capital.

Only around 100,000 went on strike on Thursday, far below the three million unions predicted, taking some pressure off the government and employers who are seeking to limit wage increases.

The strike was called for workers to demand hefty pay rises as the cost of living rockets due to surging inflation, which has been driven up in recent months by an unpopular fuel price hike.

Industrial action typically heats up in October and November as local governments decide on minimum wages for the following year in their areas.

Workers in Jakarta this year received a 44 percent increase in minimum salaries and others across the country have also received sizeable raises. -AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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