A 51-year-old man in Singapore will be charged in court on Wednesday (May 19) for wrongful communication of information under Section 5(1) of the Official Secrets Act.
Shared info in private WhatsApp group in June 2020
According to a news release, the police said that they received a report on June 12, 2020 that information about the resumption of activities in Phase 2 of the post-Circuit Breaker reopening was circulating via WhatsApp messages amongst members of the public.
This was allegedly done before the information was officially released.
Investigations revealed that the man, a public servant and an authorised recipient of classified information on the post-Circuit Breaker plans, had allegedly shared the information via WhatsApp on June 11, 2020.
He had allegedly shared it with members of a private group chat who were not authorised to receive the classified information.
The information was further disseminated by other members from the chat group, resulting in the wider circulation of the classified information before it was officially released.
Six others issued stern warnings
Police said that six others who had wrongfully received and further communicated the information downstream will be issued stern warnings for the wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act.
If found guilty of wrongful communication of information, the man can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to S$2,000.
Unauthorised recipients should delete and not further circulate any confidential information received, police added.
If not, they may be similarly liable under the Official Secrets Act.
Top image by Dimitri Karastelev via Unsplash.