• Smartmatic execs charged with cybercrime

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    THE camp of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday slapped criminal charges against officials of Smartmatic and IT personnel of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for an unauthorized change of script in the transparency server of the poll body on the night of the May 9 polls.

    A complaint for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2010 (RA 10175) was filed at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office by Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, campaign adviser of Marcos.

    Charged were Smartmatic executive Marlon Garcia; Elie Moreno, Smartmatic project director; and Neil Banigued and Mauricio Herrera, members of the Smartmatic Technical Support Team.

    Also included in the case were Rouie Peñalba, Comelec IT Officer, and Nelson Herrera and Frances Mae Gonzales, Comelec employees.

    Dela Cruz maintained that the change of script was a clear and deliberate violation of RA 10175 since it assailed the “confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems,” including the “illegal access of any part of a computer system without right.”
    He said the replacement of the script was a “security breach.”

    The complainant noted that the interference in the system to correct the typographical error (from “?” to “Ñ”) was not authorized and can be considered as illegal access to a computer.
    “Indeed, the act of ‘tweaking’ the script of the transparency server caused widespread anxiety and concern among the nation. The lapses in the protocol have undermined the credibility and integrity of the 2016 elections,” de la Cruz said in his complaint affidavit.

    “[What happened was] illegal access in a sense that they accessed the system without the permission and authority of the owner, which is the Comelec,” Jose Amor Amorado, head of Marcos’ legal team, explained in an interview.

    Amorado said his camp does not buy the defense of Smartmatic and the Comelec that the change was only “cosmetic” and election results were not altered.

    De la Cruz said the law prohibits interfering with “the generation, transmission of election results, data or information.”

    It also bans “gaining or causing access to, using, altering and destroying computer data, program and system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified.”

    The penalty for violating the Cybercrime law is imprisonment of about nine years to 12 years.

    The Comelec has started its own investigation of the incident and has summoned officials of Smartmatic to explain why the script was changed without the permission of the commission.

    Comelec chief Andres Bautista said on Monday that the initial results of the probe will be known within the week.

    A number of IT experts have asserted that the introduction of a new script also changed the hash code of the packet data.

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    7 Comments

    1. This action will lead nowhere. BBM’s campaign manager has no “standing”. He was not personally and directly affected by the change in script. This action by Party-list rep J. dela Cruz is just designed to shape the public’s mind that his client Senator BBM lost the VP race because of the script change which he seems to equate with ‘cheating”. Isn’t it extraordinary that it appears that it is BBM’s campaign manager, not BBM himself, who filed the charges as plaintiff?

      Even if BBM himself filed the charges himself, his action will lead to naught unless he provides concrete evidence that his vote total has been harmed by the script change. So far, he and his team have failed to provide such evidence. “Panay daldal lang”. BBM’s offer to Comelec to let his own IT team perform a system audit is just laughable and unbelievable. The Comelec commissioners are not that stupid.

    2. Juan T. Delacruz on

      Jonathan dela Cruz, a short, dark and ugly Congressman, and Jose Amorado, supposedly the top lawyers from Sen. Marcos’ camp filed criminal complaints against Smartmatic Corp., IT personnel of COMELEC, and anybody that is getting in their way to achieve what they wanted, to scrutinize the program used in the transparency servers. However, these two dimwits failed to understand several things.

      Republic Act 8293 – Copyright Law. It protect Patents, Trademarks, and under the Optical Media Act, computer programs are covered.

      Senator Marcos and his Battalion of Lawyers and so called IT Experts, have been trying to examine and scrutinized the program used in the transparency server because they suspected that the program added was the culprit, shaved and added votes in favor of Leni Robredo. These expert failed to understand several things.

      None of these dimwits understand how a computer executes the program fed into it, programming languages, source code, system configurations, and proprietary law.
      The Computer equipment (hardware, software, firmware) are registered property of SMARTMATIC Corporation, and therefore, these property are defined as “PROPRIETARY” equipment, protected under the International Law and also under the RA8293.

      The License Agreements made between SMARTMATIC Corporation and the Philippine Government (COMELEC as the custodian), do NOT override the fact that Smartmatic Corp will NOT allow anybody to examine their computer program, especially the “source code” and this falls under the “Trade Secret” Act.

      Here is the bottom line, and I will try to refrain from embarrassing my distant relative Jonathan Delacruz, by asking him personally about his Law degree. Part of your complaint “Illegal access to any part of a computer system without a right” will not hold water because of the proprietary law. Finally, I would suggest to file your complaints with the Presidential Election Tribunal, they might entertain you.

      • Jonathan dela Cruz, a short, dark and ugly Congressman
        ————————————

        What does someones height and color have to do with anything except showing what a bigot and moron you are ? His physical appearance which you describe as ugly ?

        Everything after that statement i didn’t give attention.

        Try this self help exercise Juan.

        Say “EYE”
        Then Spell “M.A.P”
        Than Say “Ness”

        feel dumb don’t you ?

    3. jeff jaramillo on

      COMELEC Commissioner Andres Bautista should have been included in the complaint and charges.

    4. Dapat lang ma prosecute sila at pagbayaran ng malaking sala sa ating mga mamamayan lalo na sa mga nagboboto kay BBM.

    5. Dapat LNG ma prosecute sila at pagbayaran malaking sala sa ating mga mamayan lalo na same mga nagboto no bbm