Anonymous Philippines hackers defaced the official website of Senator Vicente Sotto III early Tuesday morning. The attack came three months after it was first reported that both foreign and local “hacktivists” are targeting Sotto’s website mainly for his role in inserting the provision on online libel in Republic Act 10175 of the Anti-Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The homepage of Sotto’s website has been replaced with a black backdrop with the logo of Anonymous at the center. The hackers also posted this message: “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.” Rage against the Machine’s “Freedom” can be heard playing in the background.
“We are all waiting, we are all ready,” the hacktivists warned. The hackers identified themselves as “Anonymous #OccupyPhilippines,” “PrivateX,” “#pR.is0n3r,” “Symbianize Hacker,” “D4rkB1t,” “Blackrain,” “Sh4d0wFiend_h4x0r,” and “n3far1ous.” The group attacked a number of government websites last October.
RA 10175 has received renewed attention in recent days. The Supreme Court is set to hold oral arguments on the issue by January 15, with lawyers Harry Roque, Neri Colmenares, and JJ Disini leading the petitioners against the bill. The SC issued a 120-day temporary restraining order against the anti-cybercrime bill last October 9. It is set to lapse by early February.