MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Hackers are not heeding the call of the Palace. On Saturday night, October 6, they shut down another government website belonging to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The website was restored at around 10:20 pm Saturday.
Shortly after, the website of media organization Vera Files was also hacked.
The hacked DENR page only contained the message, “Sorry Admin, Hacked!” and “Turkish Hacker’s.” The symbols of the flag of Turkey – a crescent moon and a star – also appear in the middle.
Unlike in recent instances, however, no group has claimed responsibility for Saturday night’s hacking.
Earlier, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte called on hackers to stop the attacks particularly on the websites and social media accounts of the weather service, the earthquake and tsunami monitoring service, and the social welfare agency.
“We are aware of the opposition to the National Cybercrime Prevention Act. There are other ways to express opposition to it,” Valte said.
Vera Files site compromised
Ellen Tordesillas, one of the editors of Vera Files, said on her Twitter account Saturday night that their webmaster detected three “alien sites.” She called the hacking “cyberspace vandalism.”
“Whatever is the motive of the hacker, it’s cyberspace vandalism. It’s condemnable,” Tordesillas said in a statement posted on her blog site.
The site was fixed past midnight Sunday.
On October 3, “Anonymous Philippines” hacked the websites of various government websites to protest the new Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The law took effect that day.
The hackers said the law “effectively ends” freedom of expression in the Philippines and called for a revision of the law that punishes online libel.
On Saturday, Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago described the law as unconstitutional.
In a speech delivered at Adamson University, Santiago said the Constitution promotes free speech, as in the provision: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech.”
“The Cybercrime Act is a law that dangerously limits the growth of the marketplace of ideas. Therefore, it is presumed to be unconstitutional. But in addition, the law is unconstitutional, because it uses language that is overbroad, and language that is too vague. In other words, it violates the overbreadth doctrine and the void for vagueness doctrine in constitutional law,” Santiago said.
She listed the following provisions as “too broad or too vague:”
Section 4, Paragraph 4 – It makes libel a cybercrime, if committed online;
Section 5 – It punishes any person who aids or abets the commission of any cybercrime, even if it is only through Facebook or Twitter;
Section 6 – It adopts the entire Penal Code, if the crime is committed by the use of information technology, but the penalty shall be one degree higher;
Section 7 – It makes the same crime punishable, both under the Penal Code and the cybercrime act; and
Section 19 – It authorizes the Department of Justice to issue an order to restrict access to computer data which is found to be prima facie in violation of the new law. – Rappler.com