Tales of Forgotten Bills

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility

If the Cybercrime Law goes on with its provisions, expect every newspaper and online sites to be a circus of crap- loaded advertising of people.

Social networking sites’ creators allow everyone to have their accounts for free. They even gave us the liberation to customize our privacy and appearance settings, gave us full access to information and created the ‘like’ ‘comment’ and ‘share’ button to give us a perfect avenue to discuss, appreciate or negate an idea.

So WHY THE HELL would people deprive us of this opportunity to voice out the general public’s issues?

Not long ago, vigilant groups raised– for the nth time– the implementation of the Freedom of Information Bill. Few members of each set of houses for 21 years have been voting to reopen the bill and set it as priority but nothing seems to move.

Here’s a very simple timeline of the FOI Bill. http://www.cmfr-phil.org/freedom-of-information/

The FOI Bill allows the general public to have access to information promoting transparency in government transactions and data.

And here comes the Cybercrime Law. Long before it even started being discussed over the media, activists, students and netizens spread their uproar upon its passage—Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

This provision restricts everyone’s access to cyberspace.

Here’s the complete text of RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Law: http://www.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/

This means that whatever it is that we post via the internet/ even in the social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter would be screened. And if they find it malicious (or I’d definitely say Unwanted comments), the source of such post will be held liable under RA 10175. Those who share or comment on an ‘unwanted’ article may be held liable too, but with a different ‘lighter’ degree. TOO VAGUE. How would one judge an articles’ source illegal by merely defining the words malice, scandalous or threat?

Today, the RA 10175 has been signed constitutional. While the Freedom of Information Bill was left hanging and forgotten along with the other Human Rights Law we’ve long been campaigning. I’m afraid that soon enough, all sources of information will be out of reach. Jonas Burgos still missing, Right of Reply provision—treated as if it never existed.


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