International hacktivist group leaks ‘PH social marketing plans’
MANILA, Philippines—International hacking group Anonymous early Saturday morning leaked two social marketing plans supposedly obtained from Malacañang.
Two spread sheet files were made available via Twitter by the hacktivist group detailing the work and financial plan of an unspecified Philippine government unit. The documents were approved by a certain Ana Marie P. Daep.
The tweet of Anonymous announcing the leak mentioned President Benigno Aquino’s official website president.gov.ph, but did not say if the documents were obtained from there.
Malacañang told INQUIRER.net it was not aware of any official documents obtained and leaked by Anonymous.
Hacktivists have been attacking mostly government sites since Aquino signed into law the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. People in the social media and the Internet press condemn the passage of the law, saying it will severely curb Internet freedoms and intimidate netizens into self-censorship.
Aquino defended the cybercrime act, specifically backing one of the most controversial elements of the law, which mandates that people who post defamatory comments online be given much longer jail sentences than those who commit libel in traditional media.
“I do not agree that it (the provision on libel) should be removed. If you say something libellous through the Internet, then it is still libellous… no matter what the format,” Aquino told reporters Friday.
Another controversial element of the law, which went into effect on Wednesday, allows the government to monitor online activities, such as e-mail, video chats and instant messaging, without a warrant.
The government can also now close down websites it deems to be involved in criminal activities without a warrant.
Human rights groups, media organizations and netizens have voiced their outrage at the law, with some saying it echoes the curbs on freedoms imposed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
Philippine social media has been alight with protests this week, while hackers have attacked government websites and 10 petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court calling for it to overturn the law.
No unlimited freedoms
Aquino, whose mother led the “people power” revolution that toppled Marcos from power in 1986, said he remained committed to freedom of speech.
But he said those freedoms were not unlimited.
Aquino gave a broad defense of the law, which also seeks to stamp out non-controversial cybercrimes such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography.
“The purpose of this law is to address the shortcomings of our system, so we can have a clean Internet,” he said.
US government-funded Freedom House was among the international rights watchdogs to criticize the law this week.
“Anyone who shares offending content could end up behind bars, even if he or she did not write it. Merely a Facebook ‘Like’ could be construed as libel,” it said in a statement.
“This act is a gross overreach that severely jeopardizes the Philippines’ status as a country with a free Internet.” With Agence France-Presse
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