MANILA, Philippines — Local hacktivist groups added to the growing list of government-related websites defaced in protest of the Cybercrime Prevention Act in an initiative they called “Bloody Monday.”
This as concerned Filipino Internet users called for netizens to black out their profile photos in social media sites and the template of their websites in a protest action called “Black Tuesday.” Groups are also mounting street protests in front of the Supreme Court to protest the law.
The mounting protests come a day before October 3, or the official date when the new Cybercrime Law comes into full effect.
Easing into midnight on Monday, as first reported by local I.T. news website Newsbytes.ph, known hacking groups such as PrivateX and Anonymous #OccupyPhilippines replaced homepages of government websites such as that of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DOH) with images and text calling for the repeal or revision of the Cybercrime law.
“We ask for a revision of the said bill for the betterment of the Filipino denizens,” a line from the groups’ deface page read.
Among the websites defaced on Monday include:
Department of Health (http://www.doh.gov.ph)
DOH’s SmokeFree Website (http://www.smokefree.doh.gov.ph/)
Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) (@DSWDServe)
Maritime Training Council (http://www.mtc.gov.ph)
Provincial Government of Batangas (http://www.batangas.gov.ph/)
Optical Media Board (http://omb.gov.ph/)
Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (http://papt.org.ph)
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (http://www.ipophil.gov.ph/)
National Telecommunications Office (http://ntc.gov.ph)
DOST’s One-Stop Information Shop for Technologies in the Philippines (http://www.osist.dost.gov.ph/)
Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (http://pnri.dost.gov.ph)
Department of the Interior and Local Government (http://www.dilg.gov.ph/)
While some website administrators were quick to put their agency’s website to its normal form, some affected sites and accounts — such as that of the DSWD — remain to be brandishing the logo of global hacktivist collective Anonymous.
Anonymous is a decentralized global “hacktivist” group that engages in high-profile hacking and defacement activities to protest certain political issues. The global group, however, has yet to confirm affiliation with the group using its name in the Philippines.
Monday’s attack is just the latest in the string of defacements mounted by the local hacking groups, following the attack on the NTC on Sunday night and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other sites on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, netizens as led by the Philippine Internet Freedom Association (PIFA) have begun blacking out their social media profiles, blogs, and websites in support of the mounting protests against the controversial law.
Aside from the online blackout protests, the group is also taking their dissent offline by trooping to the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning.
“To safeguard these rights and freedoms, we, the members of the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA), ask you to leave the virtual world for a while, and join BLACK TUESDAY, a SILENT and PEACEFUL PROTEST against CYBER MARTIAL LAW,” the group’s Facebook event invite read.
Even Pirate Bay, arguably the most popular torrent-hosting site in the world, has joined the Philippines in protesting the new law as it brandished a locally made protest banner on its homepage on Monday.
The protests run parallel with the petitions filed by concerned parties calling for the repeal of certain contentious provisions in the Act before the Supreme Court, the latest addition to with was the petition submitted by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, one of the more vocal oppositors of the Act when it was still being deliberated in Congress.