One would expect that the stealing of the data of 1.5 million people including that of the Prime Minister of Singapore through nefarious means to be a huge deal. Instead, the authorities and mainstream media that are arguably government friendly have appeared to downplay the issue.
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Communications and Information took great pains to stress that the data remain unaltered, while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated via a public Facebook post that there was nothing alarming in his medication records. He also appears resigned to the data breach when I thought he would have been furious.
This blase attitude is concerning because having 1.5 million peoples’ data illegally accessed is not a “no big deal” issue. Whether or not the data remains unchanged or whether or not there was anything troubling in the data is not the point. The point is that hackers have managed to gain access to private information that is meant to have been protected! If the data of 1.5 million data can be hacked, what other top secret information is there that is for the taking?
Also, what kind of attitude does the government have towards our data? Clearly, they don’t seem to think it is as a big a deal as it should be! I don’t want unknown third parties to have my data. I provided it to you as my government to safeguard it. It is certainly not for the illicit consumption of unnamed third parties who may have dubious intentions.
Neither Channel News Asia or The Straits Times seem to have published as much on it as I thought they should. Barely a few days after the high profile hacking, the headlines are already dominated by other things. I would have thought that stolen data on such a massive scale should be headlines for weeks! This is especially so given that state actors are suspected to be behind this attack. If this is a state-sanctioned act, wouldn’t this be consistent with a hostile act of war? Why are the mainstream media outlets so muted?
We spend so much money on defense and insist on our young men serving National Service (NS). Yet when it comes to time where we should be defending our interests, the government is noticeably silent?