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MANILA, Philippines—Several government and civil society websites were defaced Wednesday night by an unidentified hacker calling itself “Anonymous Philippines” protesting the recently enacted anti-cybercrime law.

As of midnight, the website of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, the American Chamber of Commerce, and the Philippine Anti-Piracy Team succumbed to the cyber-attacks. Twitter users first sent tips about the hacking of the BSP website close to 11 p.m., after which the Philippine Daily Inquirer relayed the incident to BSP officials.

Instead of opening to the BSP’s usual homepage, the central bank’s website opened to a black screen with Anonymous Philippines’ statement about the CyberCrime Prevention Act of 2012, which it said effectively ended the Freedom of Expression in the Philippines. At close to midnight, Twitter users also reported about the hacking of the MWSS, indicating that a string of cyber-attacks targeted government websites. The same statement posted on the BSP website appeared in the MWSS’s defaced website.

The hacker said this law was “the most notorious act ever witnessed in the cyber-history of the Philippines, and the language of the bill is cunningly designed to make you think it only applies to individuals who are deep in cyber-technology and doesn’t apply to everyone, but some part of the bill basically says it can imprison anyone who commits libel either by written messages, comments, blogs, or posts in sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other comment-spaces of other social media in the Internet.”

The hacker demanded the revision of the law, adding that new technologies were giving people new opportunities to connect with a lot of people not only in this country but all over the world. “It is just so disappointing that our government, in adopting our 80-year-old antiquated libel laws to the Cybercrime Law, again seems to have retarded our march with the rest of the world with respect to giving full force to the people’s freedom of expression. The statement was accompanied by rock music.

Cross-posted from: Inquirer Technology

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