xTHE NATIONAL Union of Journalists of the Philippines fully supports the civil case filed by our affiliates in the alternative media against the people and groups identified to be behind the recent cyberattacks against them.
We stand by them not only because we have chapters in these outfits, we do so because we, ourselves, have been the target of similar cyberattacks and, most of all, because these attacks are clearly part of a pattern.
The case filed by Bulatlat, AlterMidya, Kodao Productions, and PinoyWeekly at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court and raffled off to Branch 220 on Friday, March 29, charged the following for allegedly being behind for the distributed denial of service attacks on the news outfits IP Converge Data Services Inc., an information technology firm headquartered at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City, and their officers; and Suniway Group of Companies Inc., a company that is listed as engaged in construction, including of roads and highways, but also bills itself as a provider of “builder services, web services, support computer software and hardware development” for Filipino and Chinese clients.
Fittingly, the case was filed on the 25th anniversary of the Internet in the Philippines.
According to the complaint of the alternative news outfits, Qurium Media Foundation, a Swedish nonprofit that provides “technical, infrastructural and human support to media organizations operating in repressive regimes” from which Bulatlat, the first of the outfits to be attacked in late December, sought help, carried out an investigation that “resulted in the discovery of … IP Coverage and Suniway as the sources of attacks.”
Whichever way the DDoS attacks are seen, one thing is clear, as the complaint points out: “The magnitude, scope and scale of the cyberattacks suggest that they were targeted, deliberate, and organized” and “could not have occurred without being orchestrated and well-funded.”
This civil action sends a clear message to those who seek to silence the independent Philippine media: Not only will you fail, we will fight back. We will fight back because we cannot allow you to deprive our people of their right to the information they need to chart their individual and collective futures, we cannot allow you to deprive them of their voice.
We will fight back because no less than democracy and our basic freedoms are at stake.
(NUJP statement of support to alternative media group’s case vs. cyberattackers, March 29, 2019, abridged for space consideration)