Singapore is one of the most advanced and important countries for information security. However, a likely new local law is dividing opinions: any ethical hacker who wants to operate in the country will have to take a license.
Ethical hacking is the term used for the individual who modifies the internal aspects of devices, programs and computer networks for the “common good” without taking any kind of advantage.
The law is not yet implemented, however, if any hacker is caught – or if any individual wants to help some company via penetration tests, for example – acting without the license, will have to pay $114 Thousand and face up to two years in prison.
As noted by Joon Ian Wong of Quartz, the law is likely to be sanctioned. This is because it “is in line with the reputation of extreme order” present in Singapore – Wong lived in the country for a while.
The other side
The law is a real danger even for the local telecommunications market. Usually, teens and youngsters start hacking out of curiosity. They track videos on YouTube, read forum tutorials, chat online, and virtually conduct their studies on the internet. Most of them test the tools as a way of learning. With the law, they can be arrested.
In addition to the arrest of young hackers entering the world, the law preventing young people from testing tools ultimately inhibits their willingness to act in this segment. With that, many young people who wish to work professionally in the areas of technology and telecommunications will be discouraged.
Going further: the law could lead to better hackers. More applications and tools that hide IPs and identities can be developed. If the license is paid, ethical hackers without pocket money will start working off the government radar – and there are VPNs, Tors, encryption and various technologies to shut down the authorities.