Anonymous Philippines strikes again, this time the group has hacked the Commission on Election’s (COMELEC) website and urges the agency to implement the security feature of the new vote counting machines.
After the group has successfully hacked in to website last night, the COMELEC’s home page was immediately replaced by a banner of the Anonymous Philippines which included the group’s views about the sovereignty of the people and the upcoming 2016 election.
The group also expressed its concerns regarding government’s ability to uphold the sovereignty of the people with the electoral process that, according to them, is “so mired with questions and controversies”.
Anonymous Philippines is calling for the implementation of the security feature of the new vote counting machines (VCM). That said feature comes in the form of a vote receipt, known as the voter’s verified paper audit trail (VVPAT), which will be printed out by the VCM and handed out to the voter after they have successfully elected their chosen candidates.
The Supreme Courts is also in favor of VVPAT
Prior to the recent hacking incident, the Supreme Court has ordered the Commission on Election on March 8 to activate the VVPAT feature of the new vote counting machine. On March 18, all 13 magistrates of the Supreme Court have upheld their initial decision and voted unanimously in favor of the implementation of the VVPAT.
COMELEC tries to shrug off the incident
On the morning of March 28, hours after the COMELEC’s website was hacked, the agency’s website was finally restored. However, it took a few more hours before all of the site’s features and database were made available again to the public.
In line with the hacking incident, COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez ensures the public that no sensitive information will be compromised because of the defacement of the agency’s website. He added that COMELEC will use a separate website for the upcoming election, different from the one that was recently hacked.
And while we’re hopeful that the “other” COMELEC website will not suffer the same fate as the one that was defaced recently, Mr. Jimenez may want to take back his first statement as a hacker group called Lulzsec Pilipinas claims to have obtained 340GB of data from COMELEC’s database and has uploaded them online (see the full story here).