The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is effective now.

Written by Russell Co. Posted in Internet, News, Security

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Published on October 03, 2012 with No Comments

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is effective today, October 3, 2012.

In its entirety the law itself is quite beneficial to the community as a whole, but what has sparked outrage in Filipino netizens is the libel clause that was inserted by Senator Tito Sotto. The libel clause inserted is based on antiquated libel laws enacted during the American colonial period that was meant to silence dissent. Libel cases has generally been seen as a tool abused by those with power to silence their critics. The new clause also increases the minimum punishment twelve-fold from six months to six years and doubles the maximum punishment from six years to twelve years.

By inserting the libel clause into the Cybercrime act, with its vague wording, even an innocuous act such as “liking” a Facebook post may land you in jail. With the law gaining worldwide attention various groups have voiced their concerns with it. Human Rights Watch called on the Philippine government to repeal the law, yet it still pushed through without much difficulty.

The libel clause is not the only restricting aspect of the law, as a new provision gives the Department of Justice can shutdown any website they find to be violating the law and collect data in real time, all without a court order.

Even after seven different petitions were filed against it, a temporary restraining order against the Cybercrime Prevention Act failed to push through as a couple of judges were not present at the weekly en banc session. The discussion has therefore been pushed to the next en banc session.

Government officials who initially signed the act have begun to remove support for the law, looking to push for amendments. The lone senator who voted against it was Senator Teofisto Guingona III, who has constantly warned of the dangers of such an act on the freedoms of the Filipino people.

After all that has been happening, the silencing of the freedoms of the Filipino people, the apparent inability of our government leaders, is it truly still “More fun in the Philiipines“?