Amendments to Computer Misuse Act passed in parliament
Parliament has passed amendments to the Computer Misuse Act.
The changes provide the government with greater ability to work with stakeholders to take timely actions against cyber threats to Singapore's Critical Information Infrastructure or CII.
These are systems necessary in delivering essential services to the public in key sectors such as healthcare and transportation.
The Act was last amended in 2003 to strengthen Singapore's defence against cyber attacks.
Speaking in parliament, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S Iswaran said the cyber threats of today are highly sophisticated and malicious.
So the legislative framework must keep pace with the nature of the evolving cyber threat.
One key amendment is to allow the Home Affairs Minister to issue a certificate to authorise a person or an organisation to take measures necessary to prevent, detect or counter cyber attacks.
Non-compliance with the Minister's directions is also a criminal offence.
Offenders can be fine up to $50,000 or jailed for no more than 10 years or both. The Amendment Bill also seeks to rename the Act as the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.
The enhanced powers also come with safeguards to ensure they are used in an effective and responsible manner to protect Singapore's national interests.
"I want to assure the House that these enhanced powers which come with safeguards will be used judiciously, the powers will be invoked to avert threats that may endanger our national security, essential services, defence or the foreign relations of Singapore. The minister will issue a certificate only after careful consideration of the implications and after being satisfied that the measures are practical and reasonable. These measures will make our CII more robust and resilient to the growing cyber threats we face."
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