Cybercrime law reminiscent of Martial Law era: lawmaker-A A +A
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
A LAWMAKER representing the youth said Monday that the new Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is reminiscent of the Martial Law era, as the new regulation may post threats to user privacy.
Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino said several provisions of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Law post threats to free speech, expression, and the right to privacy of Internet users.
Palatino compared the new law to President Ferdinand Marcos' Letter of Instruction 1, which led to the sequestration of several media outfits during the martial law era.
"All of these issues remind us of how Marcos released decrees and laws that enabled his regime to search and destroy materials he considered subversive. The only difference is, now, the curtailment of free expression has become high-tech," the lawmaker representing the youth pointed out.
"RA 10175 is a big issue, especially for the technology-savvy youth. Just as what Marcos did during Martial Law, this new law signed by Aquino posts threats to Internet freedom and might be used to run after government opposition," Palatino stressed.
Aside from online libel, other offenses punishable under the Cybercrime Law include illegal access to a computer system; illegal interception of data; data interference; system interference; computer-related forgery; computer-related fraud; computer-related identity theft; cybersex; child pornography, and unsolicited commercial communication.
Palatino also warned of possible violation into a person’s right to privacy of communication under the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Charter.
He pointed out that a provision in the new law authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to collect traffic data from users even without a court warrant.
Chapter IV of RA 10175 also empowers government authorities to keep all collected data for up to six months.
"We fear that such provisions might start an online witch hunt for those that are vocal about criticizing the government, and even whistle blowers. With this new law, the Internet is no longer a safe place to air dissent," the lawmaker said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)