Singapore rejects Anonymous demand to drop ‘vandal’ charges

Anonymous, which is blamed for a spate of cyber attacks against government websites in the same month, has threatened to launch a mass online petition and a ‘tweet storm’ if the charges against them are not dropped. — AFP pic
Anonymous, which is blamed for a spate of cyber attacks against government websites in the same month, has threatened to launch a mass online petition and a ‘tweet storm’ if the charges against them are not dropped. — AFP pic

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SINGAPORE, Jan 22 ― Singapore today rejected a demand by Anonymous to drop vandalism charges against five men accused of spray-painting graffiti supporting the activist hacker group in November.

Anonymous, which is blamed for a spate of cyber attacks against government websites in the same month, has threatened to launch a mass online petition and a “tweet storm” if the charges are not dropped, according to a statement posted on the file sharing website Pastebin.

In a statement, the government's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) rejected the group’s demand, saying it takes cyber security threats “very seriously” and the law must take its course.

IDA also advised the public not to be alarmed by “unusual activity” on the government’s social media channels.

The five suspects, aged between 21 and 26, are accused of spray-painting various slogans around the city-state on November 5, including the Anonymous tag line “We are Anonymous. We do not forgive, we do not forget, expect us”.

They have been charged with vandalism and are currently out on bail.

Under Singapore’s strict laws against vandalism, first-time offenders face a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to Sg$2,000 (RM5,201), along with a few strokes of a wooden cane.

Four other men are currently facing various charges for their role in a number of cyber attacks against government websites, including the official portals of the president and prime minister.

None of the alleged hackers apprehended so far have commented on their ties with Anonymous, an amorphous group of global hackers. ― AFP

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