"SingNet was wrong to have scanned the computers of their subscribers without informing them in advance. SingNet has rightfully apologised for this oversight. Nevertheless, SingNet was properly concerned over the dangers of ...
Singapore, 11 May 1999 | For Immediate Release
Comments by Radm(NS) Teo Chee Hean,
Chairman, National IT Committee
(Minister for Education and 2nd Minister For Defence)
"SingNet was wrong to have scanned the computers of their subscribers without informing them in advance. SingNet has rightfully apologised for this oversight.
Nevertheless, SingNet was properly concerned over the dangers of virus attacks. The recent incident where a hacker stole SingNet passwords and posted them on an overseas web site, and the virulent Chernobyl virus attack which devastated millions of computers world-wide, underlines the need for vigilance against computer viruses and hackers.
The primary responsibility for protecting computers against computer viruses and hackers must rest with their owners. They can use the many anti-virus softwares available on the market for this purpose. But Internet Service Providers, like SingNet, can help subscribers through non-intrusive scanning of their subscribers' computers.
However, the negative public reaction to the SingNet scan is understandable. Had SingNet prepared the ground in advance, the public would not have been taken by surprise, and SingNet could have taken account of the concerns of subscribers. We need more clarity in our approach to such scans, and more public awareness of the importance of computer security. To this end, I have asked the National IT Committee, which I chair, to develop guidelines for ISPs, as well as a public education programme to create better awareness among computer users about how to defend against computer viruses and hackers."
Released by National IT Committee Secretariat, c/o National Computer Board