We created Manila Reviews with the intention of making people fall in love with the Philippines all over again. I have to be honest — I am starting to falter in my conviction. One of the things I have always loved with our country – free speech – is vigorously under attack by hastily signed act dubbed the Cyber Crime Bill.

Although it does criminalize some acts that are indeed criminalizable, it does so in such a vague way that ANYTHING can be caught in its net and called a Cybercrime.

One of the most bothersome parts of the bill is this, SECTION 19:

SEC. 19. Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data. — When a computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer data.

What that means is that if ANYTHING you have posted LOOKS LIKE it is in violation of this act, the DOJ can issue an order to restrict or block access to your data. Again — LOOKS LIKE. They don’t need a warrant, they don’t need a court order. It just has to LOOK LIKE a violation.

There have been a few moments when I have seriously considered giving up on this country, this is one of those moments.

Here’s a great video from the ever witty Lourd de Veyra:

One of the saddest things about this bill is that it stifles and clumsily attempts to control the only place where The Philippines is playing on a level playing ground with everybody else. Correction: USED TO PLAY. With this law, Filipinos are playing with a HUGE disadvantage.

This is a sad day for the Philippines.

Is it any wonder why a lot of people are rooting for these guys?

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2 Responses

  1. dodong

    this petitions seeks to nullify Sec.4(c)(4). http://bit.ly/QE8FkW
    but have not seen any petition to nullify Sec.4(c)(1)?
    pr0n is an essential part of being human too, no?

    “John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) argued that without human freedom there can be no progress in science, law or politics, which according to Mill required free discussion of opinion. Mill’s On Liberty, published in 1859 became a classic defence of the right to freedom of expression.[21] Mill argued that truth drives out falsity, therefore the free expression of ideas, true or false, should not be feared. Truth is not stable or fixed, but evolves with time. Mill argued that much of what we once considered true has turned out false. Therefore views should not be prohibited for their apparent falsity. Mill also argued that free discussion is necessary to prevent the “deep slumber of a decided opinion”. Discussion would drive the onwards march of truth and by considering false views the basis of true views could be re-affirmed.[29] Furthermore, Mill argued that an opinion only carries intrinsic value to the owner of that opinion, thus silencing the expression of that opinion is an injustice to a basic human right. For Mill, the only instance in which speech can be justifiably suppressed is in order to prevent harm from a clear and direct threat. Neither economic or moral implications, nor the speakers own well-being would justify suppression of speech.[30]”

    decriminalize libel and preserve your freedom to be wrong. =)

    • EJ Arboleda

      Yes! Love your point of view! pr0n is anyone’s freedom (assuming it’s all with consenting parties of course) but some things like child pr0n should NEVER EVER EXIST!


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