'Anonymous' issues video threat against Singapore

SINGAPORE - A person claiming to speak for activist hacker group Anonymous threatened to "go to war" with Singapore by attacking its financial infrastructure, in protest against recent licensing rules for news websites.

"We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you," a male voice was heard saying as a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask appeared in a clip posted on YouTube.

"Every time you deprive a citizen of his right to information, we will cause you financial loss by aggressive cyber intrusion," said the speaker.

The video was removed from YouTube by early last evening.

The voice in the video clip, which ran for three minutes and 42 seconds, said the "primary objective" of posting the video clip was to "protest the Internet licensing framework" imposed by the Government.

Under new rules imposed on June 1, websites with at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore every month that publish at least one local news article per week over a period of two months must obtain an annual licence.

Websites granted a licence will have to remove "prohibited content" such as articles that undermine "racial or religious harmony" within 24 hours of being notified by the Media Development Authority.

The rules sparked a protest in June by bloggers here, who also organised an Internet blackout during which they replaced their Facebook homepages with black screens featuring the words "#FreeMyInternet".

In the YouTube post yesterday, Singaporeans were urged to black out their Facebook profile pictures on Tuesday.