Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Digital Martial Law?

For the past few weeks, many reactions were staged about this new law. Some agreed but mostly showed objection and disappointment. Before a president sign a new law, it should be read and were fully understood. In this case, the point of disappointment is that the president's parents fought hard for democracy but due to this act, his intentions are now being questioned. I am one of the netizens who strongly rejecting this law. The law is supposed to protect us from any wrong doings thru digital means but it also prohibits us to express our opinions and admonishes our freedom of thoughts.

The law seems like commanding us to use only good words towards others and especially the politicians. Any negative posts or comments can be suggested to violation of the law. Yeah right you will say that we should be responsible enough in posting any thoughts but isn't it our greatest responsibility is to protect the welfare of our country? What if we saw some unacceptable actions of others and we post it? Can't we do our part to make others aware of such thing? Should we ONLY use flowery words and only profess the good traits of them? Should we ALWAYS use the best words and positive aspects of their life? What if behind those smiles and statues constitutes lies and intolerable manner? Should we just keep quiet about corruption? Also, one thing in this law is so questionable. For example, if we post a negative thing about a person way back years ago but still active in our wall, based on the law, it is a violation because it only shows that we are still standing in that thought and that "technically", it is still published in our feed. The other thing is the issue on the deprivation of our laptops, computers, mobile devices and other gadgets. Section 19 of the Act says that if a computer data or status post is in question and in the state of violating the law, DOJ can restrict the access on the computer who publishes it even without the court intervention.  We can't also say or post any negative things about the dead persons. But what if that person was a criminal, committed rape or murder, a corrupt official and totally a bad person? Does this mean that we cannot use it for history purposes and making aware the others about their past lives? The law can also implicate that once we hit the buttons 'Like' and 'Share' on a post, we can be called as an accomplice to a crime since we are part of spreading the "negative opinion" and could be suggested as influencing and encouraging others. Does the law wants Facebook to finally put the 'Unlike' button? There are many sections in this law that is in question especially on the part of 'libel' on which Senator Tito Sotto proudly said that he inserted such item in this law. The list of issues and other questions about this new law seems like a never ending book where we can write and assess the true nature.

I really don’t understand why such law was passed immediately and not taking notice of more important laws. What will happen now in the freedom of speech on the internet? Undeniably, social media became a huge influence to the Filipinos as it can reach way faster than the television and radio. Are the politicians afraid that the social media can be a hindrance in their political career especially if their "extra-curricular" activities were exposed? As of now, I think there were 7 or more petitions to put a TRO on this law but as of latest, the Supreme Court delayed the hearing until next week. This law will be implemented tomorrow. So what will happen to the social media then? As a blogger and an enthusiast in social media, I feel unprotected. I believe that Filipino lawmakers can do better than this.

* photo take from diversityhuman.com


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