The fuss nowadays is about the ever controversial Cybercrime Law which was just recently upheld by the Supreme Court to be partially constitutional. Some provisions were removed with respect to the double-jeopardy principle and other unconstitutional inclusions.
The netizens, which serve to be the moving conscience of the government and a very powerful influence to everything that happens in the world, have valiantly reacted against the new law especially on the point of online libel.
The SC ruled that online libel is constitutional, but is subject to one condition – only the original author, not those who receive or react to the post, can be penalized.
Let me scrutinize that one.
Okay, so if someone posted a very mean and defamatory statement against another, that can be considered as online libel already (as what this law says so). Let say you reacted to it and your reaction is also somewhat mean and defamatory which is also directed to the same person being referred to on the original post. Yes, you only reacted to the post but you also did throw offensive statements against the same person/entity involved. At this point, does it mean that you should be happy because you are safe from being penalized because you merely reacted? Silly.
One will not react if there is nothing to react to. But with the simple fact that one has reacted violently and offensively against the same person that the original post is referring to is also a statement; therefore, cannot be excluded as a single reaction can bring about more reactions. It will be a never-ending forum then. Am I making a clear point here?
This provision is vague and too broad.
Another point is, people on the internet can hide themselves through different forms. They may use different names, locations and photos which may even result to identity theft.
The internet is really a world wide web in a complicated universe. Cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, and scam over the internet are some of the more important things that the Cybercrime Law has to look into.
I am aware that lawmakers and the President approved this law to resolve cybercrimes and prevent cyberbullying but I do hope that this will not restrict our freedom of expression.
In opposition to this, Sen. Miriam Santiago has filed a crowdsourced bill called the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom which is way better than the Cybercrime Law. This bill intends to protect us while we are on the virtual world of internet without compromising or restricting our freedom of expression and other human rights.
What do you think?