MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - "Hacktivists" protesting the controversial anti-cybercrime law defaced at least 13 more websites and social media accounts of Philippine government agencies late Monday night.
Hackers belonging to "Anonymous Philippines" attacked the websites and redirected or replaced their front pages with either a black page with a statement against Republic Act No. 10175 otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, or with a "Bloody Monday" banner photo.
"#BloodyMonday is still ON," Anonymous Philippines said in a short message posted on Facebook.
The affected websites are:
The Department of Social Welfare and Development's Twitter and Batasan Facebook accounts were not spared.
"The Philippine Government has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Freedom of Expression in the Philippines," the hackers said in a statement on the hacked websites.
"The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is 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," they added.
"New technologies give us new opportunities to connect with a lot of people not only in this country but all over the world. They can also provide us with a medium through which our political, public and even private views can have an immediate and direct impact on individuals, communities and even countries. 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," they said.
"We ask for a revision of the said bill for the betterment of the Filipino denizens," the hackers said.
The hackers identified themselves as "busabos," "Anonymous Butuan," "PrivateX," "#pR.is0n3r," "Lo0p th3 Lo0p," "l4stl00k," "Blackrain," and "Anonymous Manila."
The hackers encouraged their supporters to join a rally at the Supreme Court Tuesday.
"Salamat sa lahat ng sumuporta. At sana walang magksakitang physical mamaya, kahit na BLOODY MONDAY ang tema natin ayaw naman nating mauwi sa madugong protesta," one of the hackers said on Facebook.
Seven petitions assailing the anti-cybercrime law have been filed before the Supreme Court, whose en banc will meet Tuesday.
Website blackout protest
Other netizens also launched an online protest late Monday night to highlight their opposition to RA 10175.
Members of the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance voluntarily blacked out their websites to raise awareness against the anti-cybercrime law.
They posted scripts that wbsite owners can use to black out their sites from October 2 onwards.
They also encourage users of social media sites to take part in the online protest by changing their profile pictures or by posting cybercrime law protest images.