- Government websites down due to tech glitch
- Son of former JI leader deported to Singapore
- Yingluck defends amnesty Bill
SEVERAL government websites were unavailable for a few hours last Saturday because of a technical glitch, and not because they had been hacked into.
The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said yesterday that the glitch had occurred during maintenance work to beef up security.
"At no point was it a hacking attempt," said an IDA spokesman at a press conference in the evening.
Government agencies had been on heightened vigilance to enhance the security of their information technology systems since global hackers group Anonymous made threats against them last Thursday.
Over the next few days, some government websites may experience intermittent access while maintenance continues. Agencies will try to complete the work as soon as possible, said the spokesman.
To bolster their resilience, selected government websites had to be taken offline for maintenance.
But last Saturday, between 1pm and 3pm, a combination of Internet routing issues and hardware failures caused a glitch, which took the websites offline longer than expected.
This was rectified by 5.20pm, said IDA.
Websites of the Singapore police and the ministries of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs were among those affected by the glitch.
Unaffected websites included the Central Provident Fund, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and Defence Ministry.
Last Thursday, a YouTube video posted by "Anonymous" threatened to bring down Singapore's infrastructure in a show of protest against licensing regulations on news sites.
Instituted in June, the regulations require selected news sites with at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a period of two months to post a S$50,000 (RM127,000) bond and take down content against public interest or national harmony within 24 hours.
"We demand (that) you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you," said the video message, delivered by someone wearing a Guy Fawkes anonymity mask.
The threat last Thursday followed attacks mounted on Ang Mo Kio Town Council's homepage on Monday last week. — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network
INDONESIAN police have deported the son of former Jemaah Islamiah (JI) leader Mas Selamat Kastari to Singapore, where he is now under investigation, both countries confirmed.
Masyhadi Mas Selamat, 24, a Singaporean, was deported last Wednesday, 10 days after he was arrested during his wedding reception in Solo, Central Java, for violating immigration laws.
National police spokesman Ronny Sompie told reporters yesterday that Indonesian police helped nab Masyhadi, known here as Muhammad Hanif Mas Selamat, after Singapore filed a request through Interpol.
"Hanif (Masyhadi) was on a wanted list from Singapore, in connection with terrorism," he told reporters at the Indonesian National Police headquarters.
Singapore's Home Affairs Ministry, in a statement yesterday, confirmed that Masyhadi is being investigated "to ascertain if he has been involved in activities that are inimical to the security of Singapore". — The Straits Times/ Asia News Network
BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra defended a controversial political amnesty bill that has sparked mass anti-government protests, urging the country to "forgive" after years of civil strife.
Opponents fear the legislation would allow fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra – Yingluck's brother – to return from self-imposed exile.
Yingluck said the amnesty was needed to reunite the country after years of turmoil culminating in a bloody crackdown by the previous government on pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt" protests in 2010 that left dozens of civilians dead.
"Since this government took power it has focused on reconciliation," she said in a nationally televised address.
"An amnesty is not about forgetting our painful lessons but about learning so it does not happen again to our young generation," she said.
"If people learn how to forgive, the country will move forward."
There have been daily demonstrations in Bangkok since parliament began debating the bill last week.
More than 10,000 protesters marched through the capital on Monday, seeking to raise pressure on Yingluck's government over the controversial bill.
Small rallies were also held in several provincial towns.
The legislation has even angered some Red Shirts who want justice for the killing of more than 90 protesters on the streets of Bangkok in 2010.
Rights groups have warned the amnesty would "whitewash" past abuses.
Seven years after he was toppled by royalist generals in a bloodless coup, Thaksin remains a hugely divisive figure in Thailand.
The former telecoms tycoon lives in Dubai to avoid prison for a corruption conviction imposed in his absence in 2008 that he contends was politically motivated. — AFP
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