Singapore goes online in hunt for intelligence officers

Some 55 years after it was established, the country's external intelligence agency launches its official website in a bid to widen its recruitment net and attract Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singapore has turned to the world wide web in its hunt for intelligence officers from "diverse backgrounds". The Security and Intelligence Division (SID) has unveiled its official website today, 55 years after it was established inn 1966. 

Parked under the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), SID is the country's external intelligence agency responsible for safeguarding the nation against external threats. It provides intelligence and assessments to local government agencies, as well as analyses global developments that may affect Singapore's security and national interests. 

These include transnational threats such as cybersecurity and terrorism, geopolitics, and foreign relations, according to a statement released Monday by Mindef. SID also communicates with foreign intelligence and security agencies, sharing information and insights on countering transnational threats. 

With the launch of its website, the agency said it hoped to provide some idea of its operations, even though much of these remained classified for national security reasons. In doing so, it aimed to attract a wider spectrum of recruits to join the agency. 

An SID spokesperson said: "Singapore is facing challenging security issues in an increasingly complex and volatile world. The information we collect and analyse to detect and counter threats comes from wide and varied sources. The technologies to make sense of such information are evolving rapidly. 

"By increasing SID's visibility, the website will help us to recruit Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds with the right values and expertise who can contribute towards our mission. It will also help us to strengthen existing linkages and forge new partnerships."

According to the website, the agency offers roles across five key areas including technology, operations, and research. Specialised skills it seeks in technology include cybersecurity, data science and engineering, and software engineering, while roles in operations require specialised skills in cybersecurity and threat analysis and investigation. 

SID's past counter-terrorism work led to the arrests of Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists who fled Singapore in the early 2000s and foiled a terror group's plot to launch an attack on the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in 2016, Mindef said. 

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in March 2020 restructured to boost its capabilities to address emerging threats in cyber, counter-terrorism, and maritime. In cyber defence, specifically, Mindef and SAF said they would build up capabilities to safeguard against foreign actors that posed cyber threats to Singapore's national security. 


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