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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor may favor installment payments following AutoExpreso hack

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Wednesday that he might favor some installment payment system for AutoExpreso users to the extent that the system can be restored after it was hacked three weeks ago.

“It seems good to me that a payment plan can be given to people who have accumulated a significant number of tolls in these days,” the governor said in response to questions from the press.

Asked about how the government plans to restore the AutoExpreso service without paying the ransom for the system hijacked by a “hacker,” Pierluisi replied that “the tests are being done right now; that investigation is underway to establish responsibility.”

The governor insisted that AutoExpreso users should not worry.

“Users do not have to worry because on the one hand their information is properly protected and on the other, the only thing they are going to pay is the toll, not fines related to tolls during this period,” he said. “The system has been registering [tolls] and with that there are no problems.”

The AutoExpreso system has been hijacked for about three weeks by “hackers” who asked for an undisclosed amount to release the system. No detailed update has been provided on the matter, except for the fact that the information in users’ accounts is supposedly protected and that no fines will be charged during the period in which the system continues to be hijacked.

Separately on Wednesday, the governor said his inclination is to “respect the applicable law” when it comes to the issue of abortion in Puerto Rico.

“I am not going to speculate, except to say that my usual practice is to review the position of the executive agencies,” Pierluisi said. “Mine [practice] is to respect the applicable law. … For me, what the medical class says is relevant, what the secretary of Health has to say is relevant, what our secretary of Justice has to say is relevant.”

Likewise, the governor did not want to speculate on whether the ruling of the United States Supreme Court leaves it to the discretion of the states and territories to limit abortion or not.

“We have to wait,” Pierluisi said. “In Puerto Rico, care has been taken for safety and it will continue to be so in the future, no matter what the outcome of this case is in the Supreme Court.”

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