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Singapore Is Taking Internet Access Away From Its Public Servants

A man surfs the internet in Beijing on JA man surfs the internet in Beijing on J

As of May 2017, public servants working for the government of Singapore will no longer be able to use the Internet for work.

There are about 100,000 computers currently in use by Singapore’s government employees, the Straits Times reports, and by next year none of them will have Net access. This unprecedented move is intended to increase security amid heightened security threats. Specifically, it’s meant to help prevent leaks from email accounts and shared documents.

These new restrictions will apply to all government agencies, ministries, and statutory boards. The statutory board at the head of this transition, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), explained to the Times, “The Singapore government regularly reviews our IT measures to make our network more secure.”

Some people are nervous about the strict computer use policies since the Internet is essential to the way some people currently perform their jobs. One teacher told the Times that he relies on it to create worksheets and tests.

 

The IDA has been testing this out since April. Employees are able to access the Internet from their personal devices, which aren’t linked to potentially sensitive email accounts and documents, though they can forward work emails to their own phones, tablets, and computers. Certain employees have access to dedicated Internet terminals.