Philippines suspends cybercrime law for 120 days

Oct 10, 2012
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Philippines suspends cybercrime law for 120 days

Earlier today, the Surpreme Court of the Philippines suspended the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, a controversial law aimed at making cyberspace a safer place. Critics have argued that the law gives the government too much power, and puts Internet users at risk of jail time for performing common, non-harmful Internet activities, such as sharing tweets. The suspension is in place for 120 days.

Critics argue that several provisions within the Cybercrime Prevention Act law are unconstitutional, with some referring to it as enacting "eMartial Law." Fifteen petitions against the Act were filed with the High Court of the Philippines, to which the Philippine government had a 10 day response window. The Act was signed into law on September 12 by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

When passed, opponents to the Cybercrime act stormed the streets in protest, and started several social media campaigns against it. Shortly after, several government and news websites were hacked so that they redirected to anti-Cybercrime Prevent Act websites and social media accounts. Websites that were hacked include the Philippine National Police, the National Telecommunications Commission, and the Intellectual Property Office.

While critics argue that the Prevention Act will bring harm to innocent individuals and restrict freedom, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who authored the legislation, says that the act only regulates "socially destructive acts." Not all senators share his opinion, however. Senator Teofisto D. Guingona III stated that the "temporary restraining order" against the Act was the first success in the battle of getting it repealed. Public debates will begin January 15th.

[via New York Times]


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