The latest round of government website defacements are proof that secure web hosting is needed by government agencies and local government units. Websites of government agencies such as the Insurance Commission, Southern Philippines Development Authority, the Optical Media Board and Local Government Units such as; the Municipality of Bolinao, Pasig City, Pateros and the Municipality of Basnud, Oriental Mindoro.
The aforementioned websites were supposed to have been vandalized by members of cyber hacktivitst group Annonymous Philippines. Messages on the vandalized websites criticized the government for promises it has failed to deliver on and appealed to netizens to participate in an upcoming march on 5 November 2013 at the Batasang Pambansa.
On 12 July 2013, the government issued Administrative Order 39 Mandating government agencies to migrate to the government web hosting sevice (GWHS) of the Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO).
The said hosting service and the government website template (GWT) is under the Integrated Government Philippines (iGov Phil) project of the DOST-ICTO and DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).
iGovPhil Project Director Dennis Villorente mentioned that “currently under review are mature content management systems (CMS) and the development of templates in accordance with mandatory laws such as transparency etc.., likewise we are accrediting developers and trainers who can help us carry out our job, in effect creating the government web development team. In line with this, we will conduct series of trainings – workshops for all agencies concerned, while simultaneously migrating all agency websites following case specific schemes.”
Undersecretary Louis Casambre commented that “if hacktivist groups wish to promote their event tomorrow there are alternate ways rather than hacking into government websites, website defacements are still against the law and hackers who are proven to have violated Section 33 of RA 8792 or the E-Commerce Act will be liable for their actions.”
About DOST-ICT Office – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.
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