Photo of IDA logo from Ngau Kai Yan CNA

The decision maker behind the proposed ban of internet for the Civil Service, Chai Chin Loon, Director of Cyber Security Group at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said the ban is “a leap forward” on Thursday (Jan 9).

“In fact, the Government is “taking a leap forward” to close off one of the bigger sources of online attacks afflicting governments today – the Internet. I would argue that we are not taking a step backward, but adopting a balanced approach in addressing the increasingly risky online landscape.”

When queried why isn’t the government working on ramping up IT infrastructure and security patches, the IDA Director said he prefers to unplug the network:

“While there are software offerings that offer access management, these are riskier options. There are inherent weaknesses because of the complexity of the code; I’ve yet to see a piece of software that has no bugs in it.”

The Ministry of Education (MOE) resisted the IDA ban and said that the MOE will not be required to comply because they claimed they operate on a different network from the government’s:

“Teachers currently work on a separate network that will not be connected to the Government Enterprise Network. All teachers continue to have access to teaching and learning resources on the Internet from their computers.”