Editorial: Holidays are over, now back to reality-A A +A
Sunday, January 6, 2013
IT’S the seventh day of January and the Feast of Epiphany had just passed, putting a final end to the long Christmas celebration of Filipinos. It’s officially 2013, during which elections will be held and the election campaign will soon replace the noise of fireworks and party horns.
But closer than that, we must remember that the controversial Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which stirred the country last year after the Senate passed this under the unknowing noses of the Filipinos, was only put on temporary hold by the Supreme Court pending oral arguments on constitutionality of the law.
The oral arguments will be on January 15, next Tuesday.
It is to our best interest, media workers and internet users alike, to keep a close watch on this and remind those in authority that we have not stopped our call to trash the onerous provisions of this law, or better yet, trash the whole law and make a one that truly addresses cybercrime like internet pornography, cyber sex, human trafficking, and internet fraud.
That said, let us all be on our toes and make sure that the oral arguments are within our radar of attention so that we can raise our voices as one again should there be any move to crush our freedom of expression once again.
While we are at it, let’s refresh our memories on what we are against:
1. There was no consultation; the law was implemented in haste.
2. Exchange of views through the Internet now has similar criminal liability as cybersex, internet porn, and scams.
3. The use of computers under this law aggravates a crime by a degree higher.
4. The law can be interpreted in many ways and thus becomes inherently prone to abuse.
5. It gags even law-abiding citizens because of the arbitrariness of the law and its many possible interpretations.
6. Freedom of expression is a constitutionally guaranteed right.
7. A cybercrime law should be geared to protect intellectual property rights, fight internet fraud, and curb cyber prostitution and not gag people.
Indeed, holidays are over.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 07, 2013.