Philippines appeals to hackers to stop attacks
MANILA (AFP) - Hackers incensed by the Philippines' controversial cybercrime law have attacked government sites that deliver emergency information during natural disasters, an official said Saturday.
President Benigno Aquino's spokeswoman Abigail Valte appealed for a stop to the attacks, on the websites and social media accounts of the weather service, the earthquake and tsunami monitoring service and the social welfare agency.
Ms Valte reported the attacks a day after Mr Aquino set out a broad defence of the cybercrime law, which seeks to stamp out offences such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography. But it has sparked a storm of protests from critics who say it will severely curb Internet freedoms and intimidate netizens into self-censorship.
Ms Valte did not disclose the extent of the damage, if any. All the sites she mentioned appeared to be up and working on Saturday afternoon. "Many people are being affected by this," she said. "We are aware of the opposition to the National Cybercrime Prevention Act. There are other ways to express opposition to it," she said in an appeal broadcast on government radio.