Cybercrime Law in the Philippines enacted a week before EDSA People Power 28th Anniversary

February 18 was a sad day for democracy in the Philippines when the Supreme Court made a controversial decision on the Cybercrime Law (RA
10175 or Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012), particularly on the internet libel provision.

Under the newly-enacted law, which now takes effect and will soon be in full force, the original author or source of a defamatory content
will now be penalized, could serve jail term for up to 12 years.

Been reading netizens' reactions to the SC ruling, and majority still say NO to that, more than 2 years after President Noynoy Aquino signed
the Cybercrime bill into law, also over 2 years after the internet libel provision was inserted in the law by Sen. Tito Sotto, who was then heavily criticized online due to alleged plagiarism.

Now, it's kinda dangerous to make a blog post, a comment, tweet or a Facebook status update simply voicing out your opinion, observation and criticism against the government and even celebrities, for they might use this new law against you and put you in jail.

Does this mean goodbye to internet freedom? Many believe that this
internet libel poses a threat to our freedom of expression, limiting what we're posting online, particularly in social media sites.

It's in perfect timing that the Anti-Cybercrime Law is enacted just 1
week away from the country's 28th Anniversary celebration of the 1986 EDSA People Power, when President Cory Aquino, the mother of the current President, led the Filipinos fight for freedom.

On Feb. 25, will you still say "the EDSA spirit lives on" now that the Ant-Cybercrime Act is enacted into law?

I believe that there are a lot more serious crimes which needed more attention and priority than internet libel. How will they hunt down the cyber criminals if in the streets, many criminals are still free looking for their next victims?

The internet is too big, and it would be hard to monitor who made an online crime or who's the original source of a tweet or post shared a thousand times. Will the government offer jobs like cybercops or cybersecurity officers?

About M.I.

Mykiru is an entertainment blogger, having been named as one of the Top 10 Pinoy Showbiz Resources in the Philippines. For a decade now, has been delivering the latest, the hottest and most trending issues in the country.

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