Philippines appeals to hackers to cease attacks

October 6, 2012
Hackers incensed by the Philippines' controversial cybercrime law have attacked government sites that deliver emergency information during natural disasters, an official said Saturday.

Hackers incensed by the Philippines' controversial cybercrime law have attacked government sites that deliver emergency information during natural disasters, an official said Saturday.

President Benigno Aquino's spokeswoman Abigail Valte appealed for a stop to the attacks, on the websites and social media accounts of the , the earthquake and tsunami monitoring service and the social welfare agency.

Valte did not disclose the extent of the damage, if any. All the sites she mentioned appeared to be up and working on Saturday afternoon.

"Many people are being affected by this," she said.

"We are aware of the opposition to the National Cybercrime . There are other ways to express opposition to it," she said in an appeal broadcast on government radio.

The Philippines sits on the "ring of fire" of tectonic activity that generates earthquakes around the Pacific, and is also regularly hit by typhoons, with the agencies' online arms providing citizens with disaster data and advice.

Valte reported the attacks a day after Aquino set out a broad defence of the cybercrime law, which seeks to stamp out offences such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography.

But it has sparked a storm of protests from critics who say it will severely curb and intimidate netizens into self-censorship.

One of its most controversial elements mandates much longer jail sentences for people who post defamatory comments online than those who commit libel in traditional media.

It also allows the government to monitor online activities, such as e-mail, and instant messaging, without a warrant, and to close down websites it deems to be involved in criminal activities.

The Supreme Court is hearing petitions to have the law declared illegal.

Aquino, whose mother led the "people power" revolution that toppled the military-backed Ferdinand Marcos regime in 1986, said he remained committed to .

But he said those freedoms were not unlimited.

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1 / 5 (1) Oct 06, 2012
Big Pino brother gets his proverbial ass handed back to him and files a "hurt feelings report". Yet another event documenting why the Philippines will still be a third world country in 2112
1 / 5 (1) Oct 06, 2012
The people see that the law is billed as fighting cybercrime while the real intent is censorship and evesdropping. It is the old bait and switch scam that works all to often in the USA.
not rated yet Oct 06, 2012
So I wonder what all these pro-privacy people are doing that they're so worried people will find out about... Seriously, if you're not breaking the law, who gives a crap
not rated yet Oct 06, 2012
The problem is that if all of that information about people is being collected (especially things like political party support, etc) eventually someone will misuse it. At first it will be a little misuse. Maybe a politician will pull an intelligence report to see where a rival party is holding a rally. Nothing major, right?

Then that rival party gets elected. Now that they're in power they see the reports on what was done to their supporters. They figure, well, if the other guys can do that to us, then we can do that to them... and go a little further.

And then go a little further yet.

And just a bit further after that. Until at some point they go one, little, insignificant step too far.

It isn't so much a slippery slope as it is a massive temptation to those in power. A temptation to great to ignore, if what we are witnessing in various counties is any indication.
not rated yet Oct 07, 2012
President Benigno Aquino's spokeswoman Abigail Valte appealed for a stop to the attacks

Apparently incapable of speaking for himself?

And then employing a woman as a spokesperson - we understand the psychological tactic.
not rated yet Oct 07, 2012
Wow they just roll over to anyone who attacks them.

Philippines, Muslim rebels agree to landmark peace deal
The agreement begins a roadmap to create a new autonomous region in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic country before the end of Aquino's term in 2016, giving the Muslim-dominated area greater political powers and more control over resources.

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