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?