NUJP says editor's alleged hacking order 'problematic, unethical'

NUJP says editor’s alleged hacking order ‘problematic, unethical’

/ 03:42 PM June 24, 2024

NUJP says editor's alleged hacking order 'problematic, unethical'

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines or NUJP. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) called “problematic and unethical” the alleged order of a newspaper editor to hack websites.

Citing the Journalists’ Code of Ethics, the NUJP said media practitioners should only resort to “fair and honest methods” of obtaining materials.


The media organization’s remarks followed the recent arrest of hackers, who allegedly illegally breached government and private sector websites and apps. One of the suspects tagged Manila Bulletin tech editor Art Samaniego for supposedly instructing him to hack websites and mobile apps to test their vulnerabilities.


READ: 3 suspected hackers caught, tech journalist implicated

“It would be problematic and unethical for journalists to instigate incidents — alleged hacking in this case — to have something to report about,” the NUJP said in a statement Monday.

“While journalists are expected to speak truth to power and to work for social justice, this is best done when respect for the law and for ethical standards is upheld,” it added.

The NUJP, however, said Samaniego should be afforded the presumption of innocence and the right to due process.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime Division chief Jeremy Lotoc said the arrested data officer, who worked for the Manila Bulletin for the past five years, also alleged that Samaniego ordered the hacking of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Security Council.

Samaniego has since denied the accusation. contacted him for comment, but he has yet to respond as of posting.


“We also found that in each incident, this editor was the first to post an article about the hacking incident,” Lotoc said Friday, June 21.

READ: NBI to summon tech editor over hack claims

Manila Bulletin, for its part, said in a June 21 statement that it has “always adhered to the laws of the land and requires its employees to be law abiding.”

“We expect our employees to be accorded their rights,” it further said.

This is not the first time that Samaniego was implicated in similar hacking incidents. In 2005, Samaniego and local internet service provider Tridel Technologies Inc. launched “vulnerability tests” on the defunct INQ7 Interactive, a joint venture between the Inquirer and GMA 7.

Both Tridel and Samaniego were then accused of violating Republic Act No. 8792, more commonly known before as the Philippine Electronic Commerce Act – a law that penalizes unauthorized access to networks and computers.

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The case was eventually settled out of court in 2006, and both the accused issued public apologies for the hacking.

TAGS: hacking, Media, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

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