Cyber attacks are nothing new. They come with the territory and have been around for ages. What is new is the seeming inability of the government cyber security experts to cope. Apparently, the kitchen is getting too hot for the government, so it is getting out. Is that true?
I wonder how the rest of the world’s governments are coping? Is it likely that they are facing far lesser or less threats than the government of the republic of Singapore? Very hard to believe. Are we being asked to believe that it is worse than in the US, UK, Japan, and other European and developed countries?
IMO, a far more probable reason is the govt’s general distrust of its rank and file in the civil service. It probably regards the average civil service employees as potential spies, presenting clear and present danger – particularly, if it is employing a lot of foreign talents whose backgrounds are almost impossible to accurately vet or know. It is probably the leakage of information by civil servants that it is also worried about other than any cyber attacks. Evidently, the move is targeted at its own employees – the perceived enemies within.
Yet, another probable reason is that the Singapore govt classifies vastly far too much of its information and data as ‘sensitive’ or ‘confidential’ and therefore requiring protection, whereas in many other first world countries such information and data would likely be regarded as open statistical facts which are routinely and openly made available to any interested parties for consumption. This in not surprising nor hard to believe since the government has consistently refused to even provide a proper breakdown of the population when asked in parliament by opposition MPs. So we can see it as a possible extension of the desire to continue to deny freedom of information to the people of Singapore that this decision is all about, rather than some overwhelming danger posed by cyber-intrusion that is too hot to handle by the cyber security department. Cyber attacks are a convenient excuse, a red herring. A self-respecting cyber security professional would regard such a move as an insult and a sign of no-confidence in his ability.
At the end of the day, what sort of example is the govt setting for the rest of the country when it has evidently given up the ghost and in effect capitulate to cyber attackers by getting out? Are we to believe that commercial entities like banks and credit card companies and other huge corporations and MNCs operating here and elsewhere in the world are facing any less or lesser threat than the Singapore government, even though the government would theoretically be able to avail itself of the best means and resources to tackle the problem? In whose interest really is this siege mentality of the government out to protect?