Provide your email for confirmation

Tell us a bit about yourself

country *

Please provide your email address

welcome to Rappler

Login

To share your thoughts

Don't have an account?

Login with email

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue signing in. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Use password?

Login with email

Reset password?

Please use the email you used to register and we will send you a link to reset your password

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue resetting your password. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Sign up

Ready to get started

Already have an account?

Sign up with email

By signing up you agree to Rappler’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue registering. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Join Rappler+

Join Move

How often would you like to pay?

Annual Subscription

Monthly Subscription

Your payment was interrupted

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

Your payment didn’t go through

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

welcome to Rappler+

welcome to Move

welcome to Move & Rappler+

Comelec: We can protect votes despite hacking

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, March 28, vowed that it can protect the public's votes even if the hackers' group Anonymous Philippines defaced its website a day earlier.

Asked about perceptions that the Comelec cannot safeguard votes in the Philippines' 3rd automated polls, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said, "Hindi 'yon tama sa tingin ko." (That's not right in my opinion.)

"Unang una, 'yung website na 'yan, that's meant to be accessible to the public, meaning to say, hindi 'yan Fort Knox," Jimenez said in an interview with reporters, referring to the highly-protected US gold reserves facility in Kentucky.

(First of all, that website, that's meant to be accessible to the public. Meaning to say, that's not Fort Knox.)

The Comelec spokesman explained that the security for its website "is not as tight" compared to the voting process that it really needs to secure, "come hell or high water."

"It's the difference between securing a grocery list, on the one hand, and securing a list of commands to the army. Sure they're both important, and sure you're going to protect both of them, but are you gonna use as many resources protecting your grocery list, as your orders to the army? Of course not," Jimenez explained.

"It will be a question of, at that point, what's more important to protect and how many resources you want to devote to that protection," he added. 

Separate systems

The Comelec spokesman also said the Comelec website, www.comelec.gov.ph, is separate from the site where the poll body will upload election results in May.

He said, too, that the system running the Comelec website is different from the one that runs vote-counting machines (VCMs). He described VCMs as "standalone." (Read: How does the PH automated election system work?)

The group Anonymous Philippines, which has defaced other government websites in the past, said it targeted the Comelec website for a reason.

Anonymous Philippines said it wants the Comelec to implement the security features of VCMs for the May 9 elections.

This comes after Comelec critics said they will file a new case against the poll body this week. 

The new case involves a security feature of VCMs – digital signatures – which, watchdogs said, "should belong to a person, not a machine."

Days before this, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Comelec to issue voting receipts as another security feature of VCMs.

Critics said the poll body has ignored these security features since 2010, when the Philippines held its first automated elections. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

image