Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are You in Favor of the New Cybercrime Law?

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, otherwise known as Republic Act 10175 (R.A. 10175), is “an act defining cybercrime, providing for the prevention, investigation, suppression, and the imposition of penalties therefore and for other purposes.”

The Act aims to address legal issues concerning the internet and online transactions in the Philippines. Cyber squatting, child pornography, cybersex, identity theft, and libel as well as illegal access and illegal interception to data are among the cybercrime offenses punishable under this law.

Although many people protested against the controversial provision on online libel as it is believed to restrict the freedom of expression, SC Spokesman Theodore Te announced the ruling in a press briefing last February 18, 2014 that the Supreme Court en banc supported its constitutionality. However, sections 4-C-3, 7, 12, and 19 were declared unconstitutional.

Sections 4-C-3considers unsolicited commercial communication as a cybercrime offense while Section 12 provides penalties for sending and posting unsolicited commercial data or spamming and for monitoring of real-time traffic data. Similarly, Section 19 grants the Department of Justice the authority to issue an order to restrict or block access to suspected computer data.

DURA LEX SED LEX. In a blog of Raissa, she wrote: “This is how a libel suit meant to harass works. First the complainant will usually file the case in a court far from where the defendant lives (the filing fee is P1,000 — chicken feed to politicians grown fat on public funds). This will keep the defendant shuttling around, spending money on travel, wasting time, preventing the defendant from earning a living. The Supreme Court decision will allow libel suits to be filed in the most remote places because politicians can claim that the libel was first viewed in Tawi-Tawi, for instance, or Cagayan or Palawan. The one being sued for libel will have to commute to those remote places every time there is a hearing. Non appearance will result in losing the case, being fined and jailed.”

You can read further at her blog post:

http://raissarobles.com/2014/02/18/internet-libel-a-shocking-gift-to-filipinos-on-the-eve-of-the-1986-edsa-people-power-celebration/

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