0747hrs 02/19/14 ( Wednesday )
So early in the morning, and just when I want to unwind a bit by reading some tech blogs... this had to happen
As of early this month, the Philippine Supreme Court ( SC ) has now passed the Cybercrime Law, or RA 10175 and deemed it constitutional, after months of it being on hold from a TRO ( Temporary Restraining Order ) due to it's provisions
Huh? Why you ask? Because when the law was proposed, it was initially meant to deter and stop cyber crime such as child exploitation, illicit online transactions and such -- but it had a provision added: libel
Yup, that means if you show displeasure for an individual or entity, and post it online -- and they find it 'unbecoming, destructive of one's character' -- the party can file a case against you; not just what you post now, but any post you made months before the law was even enacted. To add more salt to the wounds, this also covers 'blind items' ( yup, the type of thing you get to see in celebrity tabloids on mentioning individuals by just giving hints but not giving a direct name )
Example? Like a government official is guilty for a fiasco, and you voice out your opinion online -- under the law, you can be arrested and tried for it for 'destruction of character, libelous intent and destruction of character'
Doesn't matter if you have links to prove, right or wrong -- unbelievable...
If I may, to take the exact quote from the ABS-CBN Online news article, from Bayan Muna Rep Neri Colmenares:“We disagree with the decision that considers constitutional many of the draconian provisions of the Cybercrime law. One of which is libel. Libel in many countries is no longer criminal. In fact, it is subject to civil damages,”
To continue from that:With libel in the internet now considered a criminal act, it curtails freedom of expression, he said.
“That for us threatens freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and should have shut-down by the court,” he said.
“Libel itself on the Revised Penal Code is unconstitutional because it criminalizes the exercise of a constitutional right.
What can be done is you can still be haled to court but for civil damages. But no one should go to prison for merely expressing oneself, eh lalo na sa
internet people express their frustration to government.
If you express your frustration to government will you go to prison for that. That’s
part of democratic right,” Colmenares said.
-- ( Source: anc.yahoo.com/news/sc-hands-do…
Then, following a blog, also from the ABS-CBN branch ( source: www.abs-cbnnews.com/blogs/opin…
) that in the exact quote from Raïssa Roble:"But they haven’t specified just what it is in the law that will help them.
Is it the fact that the law shoehorns the entire Revised Penal Code into cyberspace and imposes extra-heavy criminal penalties on ANY crime committed with the help of digital technology?
Would it be the fact that the law will allow anyone — say, a senator? — to sue for libel anyone on Facebook?
Could it be the bit that lets government block any website it chooses — the way China does?
Or perhaps it’s that bit in the Cybercrime Law that allows the government to spy without any accountability? That might be it.
I cannot stress enough the dangers of the Cybercrime Law. Its
atrocious lack of safeguards can easily enable rogue cops and government
officials to commit crimes of extortion and blackmail using the digital
-- ( source: www.abs-cbnnews.com/blogs/opin…
*sigh* Well, guess it's time that my country would now give up it's position as having the most unrestricted internet access to information in the world
( source: ph.news.yahoo.com/internet-use… )
...Sorry for the rant, dear Watcher...