Philippine politician's site hacked in protest of Cybercrime Law

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".