What the Hackers Accomplished

A number of protests welcomed the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175; full text; legal wiki entry; summary of cybercrimes), as it becomes effective today. There’s the Black Tuesday. A number of mass actions were held. New petitions were filed at the Supreme Court, seeking the nullity of the cybercrime law or some of its provisions. Some individuals who claim to be members of Anonymous Philippines took an extreme action — they hacked a number of government sites. So, what does hacking accomplish, in relation to the new cybercrime law?

Some say it’s a message to the government, for the government to take back the law.  This won’t work. I’m guessing that the government would take the stance that it does not negotiate with terrorists. Is it a form of protest? To a limited degree, yes. That’s what the soldiers (led by now-Senator Antonio Trillanes) also said when they staged a mutiny at the Oakwood. But doing something illegal to protest something claimed as illegal leaves much to ponder about.

So what does hacking accomplish? It has something to do with what the hackers said, that the police and other government agents cannot catch them. In other words, the police cannot trace and apprehend the hackers even with the new cybercrime law. Philippine authorities don’t have the capacity and resources to track down and apprehend hackers who know they craft.

On the other hand, the government would have a new tool — the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 — in running against those who are above board. That’s you and any other ordinary citizen. You will be an easy target. If the government can get you, but can’t get those who are the alleged reasons why the law was passed in the first place, is that law even useful to the constituents who voted those lawmakers into office? Let’s see if the government can track these hackers.

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