Gov't websites hacked ahead of cyberlaw debates
MANILA, Philippines – Hackers defaced Monday several government-owned websites, a day before the Supreme Court hears oral debates on the constitutionality of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The official websites of the National Food Authority and the local government of Mambulao, Camarines Norte were defaced with a message from Anonymous Philippines.
The message attacked the government for failing to heed the hackers’ call to abolish certain provisions in the Anti-Cybercrime Law curtailing freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress.
“What happened to the law? Are all laws meant to be broken? Are they made to fool people, deprive them of their right in exchange of what we believe as ‘Heavens for Politicians?’ Some say we are against the law because it would hinder our ‘criminal activities’ but WE do not oppose the said law in any way if it is for the greater good,” the message read.
“We are the voice of the weak, the sense of the numb, we are bonded by cause and purpose. We are ANONYMOUS, We are LEGION, We do not FORGIVE. We do not FORGET, Government of the Philippines, it's too late to EXPECT US,” it added.
The hacking was allegedly sanctioned by Anonymous #OccupyPhilippines, PrivateX, Philker, Symbianize Hackers, Blackrain, Falcon, Sh4d0wFiend_h4x0r, #pR.is0n3r, busabos, d4rkb1t and n3far1ous.
Posts on the PrivateX and Anonymous Philippines Facebook pages said the websites of the Metro Manila Development Authority, Cebu Port Authority, Philippine National Police-Region 8 and National Maritime Polytechnic were also defaced but these websites were up as of posting time.
The Supreme Court is set to hear on Tuesday oral arguments on the petitions to declare the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as unconstitutional. This, after the SC earlier issued a 120-day temporary restraining order against the implementation of RA 10175 after various groups petitioned the Court to strike down provisions of the law.
Last week, a 16th petition against the law was filed before the SC by youth leaders.
The petition assailed the law for "infringing on the youth's civil liberties."
Among provisions that petitioners want nullified by the high court is the provision that criminalizes libel on cyberspace. They said it is "very alarming" that the law still allows the prosecution under the Revised Penal Code of anybody prosecuted for e-libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The group urged the high court to extend the 120-day temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued against the implementation of the law; the TRO lapses on Jan. 29.