“We condemn these attacks against alternative and independent media groups like Pinoy Weekly of Pinoy Media Center. We call on the public to join us in resisting attempts to muzzle our voices online, and make these attacks accountable to law and the people.”
By JASMIN C. ESPINAS
MANILA — Alternative news Pinoy Weekly has been subjected to another wave of cyberattacks, leading to the shutdown their website for almost two days.
In a statement issued by its publisher Pinoy Media Center, the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks happened on Nov. 17 and 18, where at least 10 gigabytes of requests were made to their server. While the website is now back online, the Pinoy Media Center said they “fear it may again be subject to an attack in the next few hours and days.”
DDoS refers to the flooding of a website server until it becomes inaccessible to its readers. PMC’s Board of Trustees assailed this as a press freedom violation.
Among the stories that were published around the time of attacks were an editorial on the ongoing alliance between the son of the dictator’s namesake Marcos Jr. and the president’s daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, an in-depth report on price hikes, and a news analysis on the people’s agenda for the 2022 elections.
Back in 2018 and 2019, Pinoy Weekly was among those subjected to continuous DDoS attacks along with other alternative online news such as Altermidya, Bulatlat, and Kodao. Sweden-based digital rights advocacy group Qurium Foundation later traced the attacks to two Philippine IT firms.
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This year, amid another round of cyberattacks, Qurium’s forensic investigation on the attacks against Bulatlat and Altermidya led them to the doors of the Philippine government, particularly the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Army.
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“We condemn these attacks against alternative and independent media groups like Pinoy Weekly of Pinoy Media Center. We call on the public to join us in resisting attempts to muzzle our voices online, and make these attacks accountable to law and the people,” the PMC said.
Pinoy Weekly, like other alternative media outfits in the Philippines, has been red-tagged by the government’s anti-communist task force and the Philippine National Police.
“We warn those responsible for the cyberattacks that we will not be cowed by attempts to silence us. We will not be intimidated and will fight back with everything at our disposal. We will soon take legal and other actions to make them accountable,” they added. (JJE, RVO)