The Cybercrime Prevention Law sounds good in theory, to be honest…
among the punishable acts under the new law are offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data system, illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference and misuse of devices.
Also covered are computer-related offenses such ascomputer-related forgery, fraud and identity theft, crimes rampant over the Internet.
Also punishable under the new law are content-related offenses like cybersex and child pornography, unsolicited commercial communications or cyber squatting.
Cyber squatting is the acquisition of a person’s domain name in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy the reputation and deprive others from registering the same.
…except for the inclusion of “libel”, courtesy of a senator who plagiarized multiple times but was too proud to apologize and thus was attacked by netizens.
This directly violates Section 4 of the 1987 Philippine Bill of Rights that prohibits the passage of any law abridging the citizens’ freedom of speech and expression. Under the Cybercrime Law, the penalty for people who committed libel online is greater than the penalty for libel committed in traditional media, which violates the equal protection clause.
The law is broad and vague; pretty much anyone can be sued for anything that someone deems offensive and libelous. I know that most of my followers are not Filipinos, but how would you feel if you had to censor your Facebook status updates, likes and comments, Twitter updates, or even your Tumblr posts in fear of imprisonment for 6-12 years?
The President already signed the law, and because the government won’t revise it, the only solution is to junk the whole thing. Please help the Philippines combat Internet martial law; please sign the petition.