On March of 1994, Internet connection was brought to the Philippines. Only few people were familiar with the world wide web and was use only for basic communication such as email. Years have past and for the past 18 years almost all Filipinos are familiar with the internet. Using it not only for communication but also for video streaming, research, news, gaming and etch. It is now part of the lifestyle of 30% of the population of Filipinos. Our country even made it to top 20 nation using the internet, along with China, United States of America and United Kingdom.
The internet has been very useful and its occurrence is seen as one of the most wonderful invention of all time. But as it widens, it’s usage also became more useful to some opportunist, thefts and other criminals. Cyber bullying, identity theft, cyber harassment, violation of rights and many more offenses is now happening because of the availability of the internet. Now The Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012 or simply known as Cyber Crime Law had been pushed to legalization.
However, the Cyber Crime Prevention Act gathered many criticisms and issues. Pouring comments about the topic were seen in many social media networks in the Philippines on the day of the act’s effectivity. Some were in favor but many protests. Internet users also known as netizens criticizes the law. Cyber crime law was a good idea although some of the content is a redundancy such a the Child Pornography which was already implemented since the year 1975 and the revise in year 2009 in addition with the use of computer while committing the crime.
Another issue that broke was when online libel was added. The said part of the law will be able to criminalize social media comments and post, blogs or news article uploaded on the web whenever you found it offensive. The penalty for the said crime was doubled from the original libel laws and this is scary for many politician might use this to silent their critics. What about our freedom of speech?
On the Philippine Constitution of 1987 Article III Section 4 states that “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. ” It is clear that that in our constitution, freedom of speech is part of our democracy. It is just right that our Supreme Court releases a temporary restraining order against the cyber crime law. It needs revision and a whole new study regarding every atter of its content. Cyber Crime Law is not bad, it’s just not so precise nor accurate. The law apparently has great intentions of preventing violations of human rights within the cyber world. However, preservation of human rights with this system violates a very important rights which is freedom of speech. World Wide Web might be another world, but it is still part of our reality. Law is needed to protect the users, but a more definite and justifiable kind of law.
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