[ Republic Act No. 10175 ]
AN ACT DEFINING CYBERCRIME, PROVIDING FOR THE PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION, SUPPRESSION AND THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
So much controversy yet again in our country. The promulgation of RA 10175 despite the protests of several groups representing the citizens.
The said law contains provisions about cyber pornography, hacking, cracking, phishing, the usual identity theft, and above them all - cyber Libel.
I'm not a lawyer or a legislature expert, I'm just trying to assess this using a common sense. In fact, I believe that we should leave the reading and interpreting to the experts. We, the common individuals, should only know and be acquainted by this law. Lawyers and experts spent years and years of studying about these and they do not stop, so how an ordinary netizen like me could ever construe such.
This law, at first hand, sounds very logical and timely, but on my personal opinion, is prematurely constituted. There are some thoughts that are vaguely, broadly assembled. Thus, making it unconstitutional.
SEC. 4.a.1 - Illegal Access. – The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right.
If somebody uses my computer or my netbook, I could sue him. Well you could say I should have a password, but what if I don't? It's like leaving my house unlocked and if somebody stole my stuff, would it be my fault?
SEC. 4.c.1 - Cybersex. — The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.
Long-distance sweethearts, now you know what NOT to do.
SEC.4.c. 2 - Child Pornography. — The unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a computer system: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775.
Just a restatement; only if the punishable act is done with computers,the offender will have a degree-higher penalty. Thus, child pornography in computer is graver than broadcasting it. (comparing RA9775 to RA10175, I could say the latter is way broader but created way shorter).
SEC. 4.c.4 Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.
The most controversial one. If I'm not mistaken, there is already a libel law (also stated in cybercrime prevention law) and I can't find the reason why it should be included here.
Could this be one of the reasons why it was included? This is one of the matches that lit the fire of condemning RA 10175. Maybe it wasn't just designed to punish cybercriminals. It's not as simple as that.
Based on what I've seen above, could this be a form of cyber-bullying? And who you gonna run to if the one who's bullying you is your very own government institution, an institution to serve and protect.
The government which imposes overrated taxes, will spend millions to hunt down people who would just try to speak their minds and state the obvious. Why would they make a law that will scare and suppress the people from talking rather than a law that will empower them? Why make a cyber-Libel instead of a cyber-copyright to legitimize our bloggers?
The Federal Government of America was not able to fully implement SOPA and PIPA which I think were more generously and more exceptionally made. They slowed down because of the petitions and demonstrations of their netizens. But in this country, they finished CyberCrime Prevention Law all in a blink of an eye.
"Once again we see a mix of ignorance to technology and the desire to exert further control over a population. Neither is pretty, and neither has any place in a good government." - http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/10/02/the-philippines-passes-the-cybercrime-prevention-act-that-makes-sopa-look-reasonable/