The next time your site darkens, Cybercrime Law forced it

WEBSITES of different organizations and individuals have been darken since yesterday to protest and show support to Junk the Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012. “The next time our site darkens, Cybercrime law authorities forced it,” warns Mr. Rick Bahague, National Coordinator of the Computer Professionals Union (CPU).

CPU, an organization advocating use of information and communications technology for the people has released content management modules and plugin to help website and bloggers darken their site to easily participate in the online protest. “Rather than, cracking government websites, we hacked an open source tool used during the anti-SOPA campaign and adapted it for us,” said Mr. Bahague.

Website owners using WordPress can use the “simple cybercrime blackout” plugin. Websites using Drupal can choose between versions for Drupal 6 or Drupal 7.

“Information technology professionals and hackers* are also threatened by the Cybercrime Law,” said Mr. Bahague. “We use almost the same sets of tools as crackers** which can put as in jail for misuse of devices.”

Ordinary computer users can also be charged of data interference from simply getting near computing devices. The Cybercrime Law punishes technical interception of electromagnetic (EM) emission from electronic devices. “Do authorities know what to look for as a technical interception tool? This puts all users at risk of being randomly tagged as a cyber criminal since all of us intercepts EM emissions,” said Mr. Bahague. “As far as we know, only government intelligence agencies has the capability to technically intercept EM emission and make use of it as a routine surveillance tool.”

“The Cybercrime law opened new mechanisms for misinterpretations (intentional or not) by State authorities wherein innocent computer users and hackers can be tagged to crimes and punished without due process,” Mr. Bahague said.

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