Published on 15 Aug 2023
The Ministry of Home Affairs, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Elections Department would like to advise Presidential Election candidates about the threat of foreign interference in elections and cybersecurity risks.
Foreign Interference in Elections
2. Foreign interference includes attempts by foreign actors to manipulate domestic politics through covert and deceptive means, which undermines political sovereignty and harms social cohesion. In the last few years, there have been reports of alleged foreign interference in the elections of other countries, e.g. United States Presidential Election (2020), United States Mid-Term Elections (2018), French Presidential Elections (2017).
3. Singapore is not immune. Singapore’s politics should be decided by Singaporeans alone. We should do all we can to safeguard the integrity of our electoral processes.
4. The Elections Department’s webpage on Foreign Interference in Domestic Politics provides information on some methods used by foreign actors to interfere in elections, and precautions Presidential Election candidates can take to mitigate the risks of becoming a target of foreign interference, or unwittingly facilitating it. The Singapore Government too, will be on alert for foreign interference.
5. There have been instances of malicious cyber activity such as disruption, defacement, or data theft during the elections of other countries, which have affected their electorates’ confidence in the election processes. As a highly digitally-connected nation, Singapore must guard against attempts to (i) disrupt the election processes; or (ii) cast doubts on the integrity of the Presidential Election. The Advisory on Cybersecurity for Elections in Singapore provides Presidential Election candidates with information on potential cyber threats to their activities and the preventive measures they can take to mitigate the risks.
Role of Presidential Election Candidates
6. Presidential Election candidates play an important role in safeguarding the integrity of the election. They should enhance their understanding of the threat of foreign interference, and their cybersecurity posture. Candidates should find out more about the precautionary measures they can take to protect their information technology infrastructure, online and social media accounts, as well as the storage and management of their data. They are also advised to stay vigilant by monitoring their platforms for suspicious activity and not re-share posts or tweets of suspicious provenance.
7. Presidential Election candidates should make a Police report immediately, and keep the Elections Department informed, if they detect or suspect foreign interference in the election, or that their account(s) or system(s) have been compromised or misused.
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
CYBER SECURITY AGENCY OF SINGAPORE
15 AUG 2023