Singaporean defense chief calls for rule-based order for cyber battle

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SINGAPORE, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Singaporean Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen called for a rule-based order for the new battle front in cyber domain on Wednesday at the second Singapore Defence Technology Summit.

Speaking at the summit's opening dinner, Ng said that militaries are being re-shaped by the threats and opportunities in the cyber domain, and yet the rules of engagement remain vague in this new battlefront.

"There is an urgent need for a rules-based order that will prevent serious disruptions and even the loss of lives, to protect the functioning of society, whether it is in transport or financial systems, hospitals, so on and so forth, especially when the cyber arena will become more contested," he said.

According to the minister, the threats arising from the cyberspace, as well as climate change, test the civilian resources of all countries. Countries across all geographies are busy building up cyber capabilities to defend this terrain and protect the integrity of their systems.

He took the United States and Germany as examples, saying that the U.S. Department of Defense have been given the mandate to "forward position" and even respond with cyber counter-attacks against aggressors, and Germany's cyber force and investment in their cyber as well as information capabilities have a significant upscaling.

The summit, organized by Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency, will run on June 26-28. With a theme of "Proliferation of Technology and its Implications on Defence, Security and Society," this year's summit will attracted some 400 global thought leaders, according to the organizer.

Ng highlighted the need for countries and their militaries to adapt to newer, non-conventional challenges in his speech at the opening dinner. He said that countries and militaries will need the power of technology to amplify the efforts and improve the effectiveness to deal with expanded challenges related to terrorism, cyberspace, outer space and the forces of nature. Enditem

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