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Aquino orders tighter web security, migration of PHL govt websites

July 18, 2013 5:32am
The government is finally getting serious about online security.

After a spate of hacking and cyber-attacks in the last several years, President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the migration of the contents of government websites to the Department of Science and Technology's presumably more secure Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS).

In the most recent instance, over a dozen government websites were disabled by cyber-attacks believed to emanate from Taiwan last May, in the wake of the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard personnel.
In Administrative Order No. 39 dated July 12, Aquino cited the need for "greater security and robustness" in delivering reliable information and online services that are "free from impairment and disruption."
"(The Department of Science and Technology's Information and Communications Technology Office) shall administer, operate and maintain the GWHS to ensure the government’s internet presence 24-hours a day, 7-days a week (24/7) under all foreseeable conditions," Aquino said in AO 39.
He said the GWHS will host the websites of:
- national government agencies
- government financial institutions
- government-owned or controlled corporations
- websites of inter-agency collaborations, programs and projects.
Hosting of websites of constitutional bodies, local government units and other autonomous branches of government by the DOST-ICTO "shall be encouraged but undertaken at the instance of the above-mentioned government entities," he added.
Aquino said the GWHS shall start operations within 60 days from the effectivity of the AO.
The National Digital Service Coordinating Group (NDSCG) shall issue the Philippine Uniform Website Content Policy (UWCP) and its implementing rules and regulations.
AO 39 provides that the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office shall administer the implementation of the UWCP under the direct control and supervision of the NDSCG.
One year to migrate
Aquino gave the concerned government agencies one year to migrate their websites.
"Current web hosting contracts of government agencies shall not be renewed and all covered agencies must refrain from entering into any new web hosting contracts upon the effectivity of this AO," he added.
Aquino also said websites that had been defaced or rendered inaccessible by attackers in the last six months shall be given priority.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall advocate to LGUs the adoption of UWCP and the migration of their websites to the GWHS.
Operation costs
Aquino said the DOST-ICTO may be allowed to charge fees from its subscribers for use of its facilities and services "on a cost recovery basis" to fund its operations.
He authorized the DOST-ICTO to set aside a Website Migration Fund to be sourced from e-Gov Fund, subject to existing laws, rules and regulation. – ELR/HS, GMA News

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