Hackers usually fight their wars in cyberspace, but this time around members of Anonymous Philippines took time out from behind their computer screens and personally appeared at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to demand the release of their arrested colleagues.
At least 50 members of Anonymous PH protested outside the DOJ on Monday morning while wearing the international group’s trademark Guy Fawkes masks and hoodies, the Inquirer reported.
They called for the immediate release of their group members Paul Biteng and Joenel de Asis, who were arrested for allegedly hacking and defacing the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website.
“Our stand is that there was nothing wrong in what they did. It was only meant to expose that the government is negligent in safeguarding the personal data of every Filipino," said one protester. "The leaking of the data, however, was not done by Anonymous but by another group.”
The protester added that their arrested members were only exposing the Comelec website’s long-standing security flaws which can pose a threat if discovered by the unscrupulous individuals
“You [Comelec] did nothing. Isn’t that negligence? Corrupt election operators are raking in money while you are neglecting our online security. Watch us, we are just around.”
Biteng and de Asis were arrested in separate operations by the National Bureau of Investigation last month after the personal data of some 70 million registered voters were leaked online.
Biteng, a 20-year-old Information Technology fresh graduate, is facing a maximum sentence of 60 years. Meanwhile, 23-year-old de Asis faces a maximum sentence of 80 years. Both were slapped with multiple charges including data interference, illegal access, misuse of device, and data leakage.
Photo credit: rsvlts.com