Saturday, October 4, 2014

The War On Secrets

The Ministry of Home Affairs hosted the 23rd GovernmentWare (GovWare) conference & exhibition event on 23 to 25 September 2014.

With the whipping boy of cyber threats in today's connected cyber world identified, the Government urged academia and industry partners to develop a close partnership which will enable such initiatives and measures as the sharing of information, development of innovative cyber solutions, training of the next generation of cyber security professionals and the establishment of local operational or research facilities. These and other "collaborative" efforts are supposed to aid in the shaping of a cyber security ecosystem that is both robust and vibrant.

One of the secret documents exposed by Edward Snowden was a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation explaining the function of PRISM, the program used impudently by the National Security Agency (NSA). The first to provide PRISM with material was Microsoft (September 2007), followed by Yahoo (March 2008), Google (January 2009), Facebook (June 2009), YouTube (September 2010), Skype (February 2011) and AOL (March 2011). Apple held out till October 2012.  The top secret PRISM program allows the spy agency to access emails, Facebook posts and instant messages.

When challenged - Google prided itself on its mission statement "Don't do evil" - the tech companies said they only released information to NSA in response to a specific court order. It was only part of the story. In October 2013, the Washington Post revealed that NSA had hacked into the private fibre-optic links "on British territory" that inter-connect Yahoo and Google data centres worldwide. The NSA codename for the tapping operation is MUSCULAR, with the British doing the actual tapping on behalf of the US, and sending the data back to NSA's Fort Meade headquarters ("The Snowden Files", Luke Harding, page 206, 207). Snowden says it was his concerns over PRISM that pushed him towards whistleblowing.

What is pushing the government into all the talk about need for cyber security specialists is easy to guess. While George Bush had the Patriot Act to go by in the aftermath of 9/11, our great leader is paranoid about old geezers pining for home in a documentary movie. Transparency and accountability were never their goals, neither was the privacy of the citizens they are supposed to serve. Their invasive bags of dirty tricks makes the NSA rogue agents look like angelic forces.


  1. "The period of history examined in the documentary "To Singapore, With Love" must be viewed within the context of a Communist insurgency, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong". Isn't it all water under the bridge? But it's ok to fall over each other to pay homage to the Communist People's Republic without endangering our national security? Like that, it would appear that the Communist insurgency has succeeded.

    Suffer the Sinkies, our great leader loves to talk big, but is so insecure he is even afraid of his own shadow. National security becomes a patsy for any threats to the hegemony of the PAP. It's not cyber security but his own security that is at play. VTO, or there will gradually be more curbs on whatever "freedom" we still have left. First on the list is the Internet.

    1. ""To Singapore, With Love" must be viewed within the context of a Communist insurgency"

      So laughable. Suddenly Joker Lee can talk about "context" ... so why didn't his world's highest paid salary and those of his cronies talk about context to which to their salaries and self-serving policies. It only shows that they not blur but fully unaware of their policies but deliberate implement them to screw the citizens.

  2. Singaporeans should have by now know that there are probably a million PRCs in Sin.
    Singaporeans should not be communist in ideology BUT SINGAPOREANS MUST ACCEPT COMMUNISTS FROM CHINA OR ELSEWHERE.


  3. In this new millenium they favour the use of high tech stuff like in PRISM and MUSCULAR. But in the good old days, we here use the more direct muscle stuff spearheaded by the Special Branch, like in OPERATION COLD STORE and OPERATION SPECTRUM. Somehow the code names, PRISM and SPECTRUM, do seem connected, if you remember the physics of light. But one thing they still do - they use SUE.

  4. Your article should be headed The Secret War ( against the citizens) Very much the same is being carried our in the US and its western allies. This is being exposed by courageous individuals like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.No prizes for guessing if it is happening here.