Following the intrusion into the blog of Singapore newspaper Straits Times, hacker group Anonymous has just defaced the website of the Philippines Office of the Ombudsman earlier today.
For those unfamiliar with Ombudsman, The Ombudsman of the Philippines is an appointment by the government which holds a significant degree of independence, who is charged with representing the interests of the public to investigate and prosecute Philippine government officials accused of crimes.
The Offices of the Ombudsman independently monitors all three branches of the government. The Ombudsman is also responsible for receiving complaints from citizens and organizations from the country. The Ombudsman usually prosecutes officials accused of graft and corruption.
The office is currently investigating the plunder charges filed by the Department of Justice against 38 individuals allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam.
At 10am Philippines time today, Anonymous Philippines issued a public press release not only on the Office of the Ombudsman’s website, but also under the page of its press releases.
Other than the website, at least 37 other government websites were hacked.
Here is the full message posted on those sites:
Greetings citizens of the Philippines. We are Anonymous.
We apologize for this inconvenience, but this is the only easiest way we could convey our message to you, our dear brothers and sisters who are tired of this cruelty and this false democracy, tired of this government and the politicians who only think about themselves.
The government, in many ways, has failed its Filipino citizens.
We have been deprived of things which they have promised to give; what our late heroes have promised us to give.
Let us remind the government that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words. They are perspectives.
A march is happening, a revolution. A way to speak, a way to be heard.
On the fifth day of November, 2013, we will try to be a part of the history.
But of course there are those who do not want us to speak, and those who have doubts.
You can sleep, sit, go on with your everyday routine just like a herd of sheep and watch as the government laugh at you.
But if you see what we see, if you feel as we feel, and if you would seek as we seek… then we ask you to stand beside us, this fifth of November outside Batasang Pambansa and let us march our way to freedom – a freedom from the shackles of the Government.
You have been called; and by watching, you have been chosen.
To the “incorrupt” officials of the government, we are challenging you!
The Corrupt – Fear us.
The Honest – Support us.
The Heroic – Join us.
We are Anonymous.
We are ONE.
The government, you are NONE.
We are legion.
On the 5th of November, Government – Hear and understand us, or EXPECT US!
Singapore government websites “under maintenance” too
Other than the Philippines government keeping their hands busy with hackers’ activities this weekend, Singapore is also dealing with an individual (or group of individuals) called “The Messiah” who claims to represent the Anonymous collective.
Earlier on Friday, Anonymous sent a public threat to the nation’s main ruling party PAP as an act of protest against the government’s new online media licensing rules.
Following that, on Saturday, more than a handful Singapore government have been undergoing what claimed to be a “planned maintenance” by the Singapore Infocomm Development Authority. 19 Singapore government websites taken down simultaneously, and according to Singapore tech media outlet Tech in Asia, the explanation by the Singapore authority was met with skepticism by internet users.
The maintenance of the Singapore government websites seemed to be taking longer than expected: at the time of the writing, most of the 19 websites are still down. So far, noone from the Anonymous group has claimed responsibilities for any Singapore government website intrusions.
What about Malaysia?
What would be interesting to watch is what is going to happen on the 5th of November. Other than Singapore and the Philippines, earlier in September 2013, Anonymous Malaysia group has also posted a video requesting supporters to rally and join their million mask march on the 5th of November.
According to a recent survey by Ernst and Young, Malaysia has been ranked as one of the most corrupt nations and listed as a country which is most likely to take shortcuts to meet targets when economic times are tough, signalling that the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has failed in its role to transform the economy.
In the Malaysia general election earlier in May 2013, many Malaysians has noticed irregularities in how the election was carried, and reports of electoral fraud were widespread. According to Huffington Post, it was discovered that despite years of pressuring the Malaysian Election Commission (EC) to ensure a free, fair and unbiased election the EC continued to demonstrate its incompetence and lack of professionalism.
This could have led up to the call by Anonymous Malaysia to hold its million mask march two days later on the 5th of November.
Here’s the message from the video:
Greeting fellow citizen of Malaysia, we are anonymous. In the 5th of November the million mask march is going to be held in Kuala Lumpur Dataran Merdeka, Malaysia. It is time for Anonymous Malaysia to show up on the street and protest against the government . Our government has failed us. We invite you in the 5th of November to join us in Dataran Merdeka, we shall protest together and have a great day. On that day the voices of the people will be heard all over Malaysia. We would also like to show the government that most of the people is not asleep in their lies. We the 99% is awake and know the truth we shall show the government fear. The government shall be afraid of the people not the people that should be afraid of the government. Liberty must be reinstated. Remember to join us on the 5th of November.
Expect Us Malaysia.
Unlike Singapore and Philippines, the Malaysia government websites are still up and running at the time of the writing.