Hackers from the group Anonymous Philippines defaced the website of American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines as well as the web portals of a number of government agencies to push for the revision of the newly passed Cybercrime Law. The following are the affected government websites:
- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
- Manila Water and Sewerage System
- Philippine Information Agency (PIA);
- Regional Caves Committee of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
- Smokefree Philippines of the Department of Health; and
- Philippine Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT), an inter-agency and multisectoral task force fighting intellectual property pirates.
The website of DOH and MWSS remain inaccessible as of early Thursday morning while BSP and PIA are now under control. In a statement posted in the hacked websites, the group described the newly-passed Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as “the most notorious act ever witnessed in the cyber-history of the Philippines.” It added that the bill “effectively ends the freedom of expression in the Philippines.”
Echoing an earlier statement made by University of the Philippines law professor Harry Roque, the group noted that the law’s provision on online libel covers written messages, comments, blogs, or posts in sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet social media sites, and that this poses a threat to all netizens.
“The Cybercrime Law, again seems to have retarded our march with the rest of the world with respect to giving full force to the people’s freedom of expression,” Anonymous Philippines also said. Using the hash tag #OccupyPhilippines, the hackers identified themselves as Anonymous Butuan, PrivateX, #pR.is0n3r, Lo0p th3 Lo0p, l4stl00k, Blackrain, and Anonymous Manila.
Officially known as Republic Act 10175, the Cybercrime Law contains a portion on Internet libel based on Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code. The constitutionality of this provision in RA 10175 is being challenged in at least three petitions filed before the Supreme Court.