|Screenshot of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines website as of 12:09 a.m. Friday.
MANILA, Philippines - Hackers struck anew Thursday night and defaced the website of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOP).
The front page of the website of the government agency that handles copyright and intellectual property concerns in the country showed a photo of a girl whose finger was pressed on her lips.
It also had a short message from the hackers who belong to "Anonymous Philippines."
"We are legion. Expect us!" the message said.
The photo of the girl has been uploaded on the Facebook account of one hacking group, PrivateX, which could be behind the IPOP defacement.
"Shhh... Bloody Monday," a post of the Facebook account said. The post was later deleted.
The group was among those who hacked 7 government and private websites Wednesday, including the central bank, to protest the anti-cybercrime law in the Philippines.
"We ask for a revision of the said bill for the betterment of the Filipino denizens," PrivateX said on a brief post Thursday.
The hackers said Republic Act Republic Act (RA) 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which was signed into law earlier this month, violated people's rights.
"The Philippine government has just passed a bill that effectively ends freedom of expression in the Philippines," their warning on the hacked websites read.
It cited provisions in the law that would jail anyone who commits libel on the Internet, whether through tweets, blogs or Facebook messages.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said President Benigno Aquino's official gazette was subject to an attack but it was not successful.
Many of the websites were back up in a few hours, he told reporters.
Lacierda also defended the controversial law, saying "what the cybercrime act does is attach responsibilities to cyberspace".
The anti-cybercrime law punishes crimes using the Internet including fraud, forgery, child pornography, identity theft, spamming and "cyber-squatting."
Senator Teofisto Guingona, an ally of Aquino, filed a petition at the Supreme Court on Thursday, questioning the constitutionality of parts of the law such as the provisions on libel.
He charged that the new law punishes online libel with up to 12 years in jail compared to four years for print libel.
It also gives the justice secretary excessive powers to go after alleged cyber-criminals, his petition said. - with a report from Agence France-Presse