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Cybercriminal @ Work : All About that Ridiculous Philippine Cybercrime Law

Written By Pinoy Tekkie on Lunes, Disyembre 10, 2012 | 8:35 AM

“We add our voices to the many citizens and online users who were shocked and outraged to find in the new Cybercrime Law excessive penalties for online libel and enormous powers given to authorities to monitor online activity and block access to web sites.” -GMA News Online

President Benigno S. Aquino III once said:

“I do not agree that the provision on online libel should be removed. Whatever the format is, if it is libelous, then there should be some form of redress available to the victims,” President Noynoy Aquino

WTF! Does he know that:

“The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called for the repeal of the libel law, saying it violates article 19 on the right to freedom of expression and opinion of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Philippines is a signatory.”

Who benefits from this law?

No matter how much I like civility and consideration in the Internet, I do not like the law because it was created to benefit specifically the powerful people who created this.

Tayong mga ordinary people have limited means to express our opinions because the traditional media – print and broadcast, is controlled by ACDC practitioners, politicians, gov’t officials, big businessmen and taipans. Internet has proven to be the great equalizer for us and these powerful people have seen what will happen to them when they commit abuses just like the Carabuena incident.

Yung kay Sotto hindi malalaman yun kung walang internet, si Congressman Villafuerte na spite of decades being in power, yung kanyang Camarines Sur remains one of the most impoverished, that he blocked Robredo’s appointment. That MVP is using laundered money from the late ex-dictator Suharto to play with.
Yung mga ganyang balita that we don’t normally read in newspapers. Yung politicians natin wanted to suppress information and opinions na makakasama sa kanilang hold in power.

To the Great Hackers – Anonymous Philippines:

I have my utmost salute on your capabilities as far as the the highest forms of hardcore applications in the field of Information Technology. It is my humble request however for you and your group to kindly please spare and refrain from dismantling the Websites of our struggling government entities especially our Local Government Units who have nothing to do with the cause of your outrage which I personally understand. As we go forward towards establishing the stability for our nation, PLEASE… HELP US BECOME THE PEOPLE AND THE NATION THAT EACH OF OUR SPIRITS HAVE BEEN LONGING FOR: PEACE AND PROSPERITY!


My personal Respects to you and your cause.
- Miguel Leon Magdalo

Here are my suggestions on how to go around the said Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 bill:

1. Beki-speak.
Ex: “Kalukis itechiwa Gobyerlalu, Wititit na pwede humanash ng kung anik anik. Kundi Kulongbels na. Ano ve? puro mga eklavu. Tegiboom boom na Karapatsina!” – Kung beki ang pulitiko, mage-get pa rin nila pero good luck sa hearing na puro beki speak ang libelo us quotes hahaha

2. Jeje-speak.
Ex: Ta3na nhman pohwz ang mHayOwr nm!n d2, WLa PakinaBangz AMP! Ghow to Hellz mHayOwr!

3. Pauso ng Codes
Fuguck Thigis Puguliguticus
pwede din gamitin ang FLAMES, HOPE, JAPAN and LOVE
Number codes, pati na rin morse code lol

4. Gumamit ng Sarcasm
Ex: Wow, the best talaga si Tito Sotto at lahat ng nagpasa ng cybercrime bill. I love them so so so much!! Wooo idol!

On a more serious note:

Republic Act 10175 – Cybercrime Prevention Act was signed into law last September 12, 2012. It is a law considered to be 12 years in the making as various groups, organizations, and personalities lobbied for its passage. It took awhile for the law to be passed as legislators and various stakeholders need to understand the magnitude of cybercrime and whether the penalty provisions indicated in the E-Commerce Law – Republic Act 8792 is sufficient or not.

"Now that the massive public outcry against Republic Act 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Law, has died down a bit--by virtue of a TRO (temporary restraining order) issued by the Supreme Court--I'd like to make a few comments on the controversial legislation which I've followed over the course of its decade-long journey.

Let me state at the outset that I'm in favor of the Cybercrime Law, but not in its current form. I think this is the same position taken by most local ICT stakeholders.

Despite the fact that the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) led the lobbying for the passage of the law, the trade group was nonetheless pleased that the measure was suspended pending the final determination of its constitutionality.

BPAP was also quite surprised that the version approved by Congress was not the same law which they had supported during the early stages of its drafting.

PH-CERT, the organization of Internet security professionals in the country, also put out a press statement that basically said the same thing. It was a different version of Cybercrime Law, they said. Both groups said the provision on Internet libel shouldn't have been included in the final version of the law.

If I remember it right, online libel was not at all mentioned when the proposed legislation was first broached about 10 years ago. It only cropped up in the House of Representatives when the chamber approved this year its version of the bill containing the contentious provision, as I still recall Kabataan Party-list representative Raymond Palatino raising a howl about this.

Thus, contrary to most news and blog accounts, it was not the bicameral conference which inserted the provision in the reconciled version of the bill. What the panel did was to increase the penalty for online libel a degree higher compared to traditional libel. The bicam adopted this on the urgings of Sen. Edgardo Angara, who argued that a heavier punishment should be meted out on Internet libel because of its global nature.

What's also interesting in this controversy is that the ICTO (Information and Communications Technology Office), despite being the government's main ICT agency, has questions, too, on the law.

They were also wondering about the designation of the ICTO as the lead agency in the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), as provided in the law.

The officials pointed out that the ICTO is a policy-making body concerned about only cybersecurity and not on cybercrime, which is basically investigative and enforcement work. Therefore, ICTO has no place in the CICC as it practically involves police duties.

The original agency proposed in the early draft of the bill was the National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council (NCCC). It was, however, strangely changed into the CICC during the bicam meeting. 

No doubt, we need a law on cybercrime to address the new breed of crimes spawned by the Internet such as online pornography and cyber prostitution.We need law and order in cyberspace. However, it must not be used to stifle freedom of expression and to harass people. We should, and must, always fight any attempt of the State to abuse its immense powers against hapless citizens.

* credits to Melvin Calimag of Pinoy Post for some excerpts taken from:

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