Philippine politician's site hacked in protest of Cybercrime Law

Philippine politician's site hacked in protest of Cybercrime Law

Summary: Web site of country's Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III defaced by hacktivist group Anonymous Philippines, protesting against the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.


The official Web site of Philippines' Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III has been hacked by a group claiming to be Anonymous Philippines at past midnight on Tuesday.

According to The Rappler news site, when users loaded the Web site, they had been greeted with a pop up message reading "Defaced by #pR.is0n3r". After clicking through they were greeted by an animated Anonymous Philippines logo, with a message criticizing the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Sotto had admitted in October last year he pushed for the inclusion of online libel in the country's controversial Cybercrime Act, which come under fire for its vague definition of online libel, violation of personal rights and tough legal penalties for Internet defamation, a separate report by The Inquirer noted.

"It's been a long time, Tito Sen! Deny us our freedom of speech and of expression through R.A. 10175 and we will deny you your cyberspace. You cannot shut us up, you cannot shut us down. And you shall not see us rest until R.A. 10175 is revised," the message read. "We are all waiting, we are all ready. We are Anonymous, we are legion. We do not forgive and we do not forget. Expect Us. Protect our Right to Freedom of Expression!"

In the background, the song "Freedom" by American rap metal band Rage Against the Machine had been playing. The Web site is currently inaccessible.

Visitors of the Web site of Vicente Sotto III were greeted with this pop-up box (Source: The Rappler)


The message left by Anonymous Philippines after visitors clicked further (Source: The Rappler)

The hacking comes a week before the Supreme Court on Monday announced it will hold oral arguments on the cybercrime law on Jan. 15., a separate report by Malaya news site noted.

The Philippines' Cybercrime Prevention Act had been suspended for 120 days following restraining order against it by the Supreme Court in October. The law

This is not the first time the hacktivist group had protested against the cybercrime law. In October, Anonymous Philippines had struck down several government Web sites in the country and replaced the sites with an animated logo and statement against the Cybercrime Act, calling it "the most notorious act ever witnessed in the cyber history of the Philippines".

Topics: Security, Legal, Philippines

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • Philippine politician's site hacked in protest of Cybercrime Law

    philippines was known to follow the lead of the us in every facet of its political system without really knowing the reason behind them. the unfortunate thing is that here in the us, the laws are written in english that everybody understands, but in the philippines laws are written in english and spanish that hardly five percent of the population fully understands. that is the reason why corruption is rampant since most of the population don't understand what are their rights and responsibilities as citizen, i.e. vote buying is a way of life there. hope that responsible people will prevail and start giving poli sci 101 lecture in their native language (about fifty of them) to reverse the decline of the 'sick man of asia' and give hope to the long suffering people of that nation... as an aside, the 70's student revolt against marcos is a mirror of us 60's anti-establishment rallies.
    • English is as good a language as most

      I suspect Tagalog would annoy people who don't live in southern Luzon (English is more likely to be seen as neutral), but your point is well taken. Perhaps the official language in each province should be the majority language of the province, with the two or three top languages plus English being official for the central government.

      India has the same problem, but they appear to be working around it (education helps). In many ways, it seems better to me for a country like the Philippines to have an official language that is everyone's second language but nobody's first; rather than to try to impose the language of the capital on the whole country.
      John L. Ries
  • Naturally...

    ...this will force the Senator to seek repeal of the act (or maybe not).
    John L. Ries