Thursday, August 30, 2007

Odex brouhaha - how SingNet is done in, again.

it's time again to highlight the recent public interest in the Odex court order to force our big 3 ISPs to release subscriber data, based on a simple item - the public IP address tied to a customer during a certain period of time.

Odex was really happily getting money out from scared Singaporeans that were with SingNet and StarHub until it failed in its attempt to fleece Pacific Internet's subscriber data. With the unprecedented court judgment to reject Odex's request and the subsequent loss during appeal, the Odex's financial motive and legal rights are brought into question.

the limelight was inevitably shone onto the other 2 ISPs - SingNet released subscriber information without sending lawyers to argue in the courts, while StarHub tried but failed.

Article's quote - "Online attacks against SingNet intensified after District Judge Earnest Lau published in his written judgment that "for the SingNet case, the orders were made by consent." He also said SingNet did not even appear in court. Different judges had ruled in all three cases."

how much can you trust SingNet to protect YOUR identity?

if you are unaware, SingNet has breached subscriber identities in the past. Together with Ministry of Home Affairs (yes, our very own government ministry), SingNet unlawfully intruded into 200,000 subscriber's computers, by the technique of "port scans".

there are 65,536 ports in our typical systems that are open to the Internet at large. Microsoft was still with Windows 98 sans the "Windows Firewall", and everybody was not well educated in using packet filtering programs such as firewalls in 1999. SingNet's mistake was a serious issue.

singaporeans are meek and obedient - so this Odex and MHA incidents are expected to fade away.

although i'm a long-time customer of SingNet for 8 years, these privacy concerns are putting me off. It's sad to see so many similar management directives slipping through silently - StarHub managed to increase their CableTV charges despite wide criticisms, SMRT/SBS Transit got away with their fare increases despite poor service quality as well. And the latest news that went unreported by our very conservative SPH - Temasek lost £150m after it invested in Barclays in July 2007.

how much can Singaporeans tolerate? Your guess is as good as mine.

Government linked CEOs and senior management have a job to do, and every Singaporean expects the best from them - to put it harshly and as-a-matter-of-fact: i'm entitled the rights to ask for the best from PAP/GIC/Temasek. The 5 years of mandate is not to be taken for granted, please.

Article's quote (SEC info on Pacific Internet) - "SembVentures and MediaCorp Investments Pte. Ltd. ("MediaCorp Investments") are subsidiaries of SembCorp Industries and MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. respectively. Both SembVentures and MediaCorp Investments are effectively controlled by Temasek, the principal holding company of the Government of Singapore. In addition to having the ability to indirectly control the Group, Temasek also indirectly controls SingNet and StarHub - the Group's principal competitors in Singapore."

note: Pacific Internet's shareholders have changed since the article was published.

No comments: