Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Musings from a respected judge on Cybercrime Prevention Law

I am honored to present in this blog a cogent critical analysis of the Cybercrime Prevention Law from a respected friend who is in the legal profession.

Critics of the Cybercrime Prevention Law, mostly from the many users of the popular Internet Social Media Sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are up in arms against this most recent piece of legislation, passed by Philippine Congress.

The Cyber age has brought considerable changes in our way of life as we employ web based technologies in human communication, information dissemination and sharing, instant messaging, and social networking. This medium has opened up vast array of applications that could link communities, organizations, and individuals. Social media is now one of the most powerful source of news, information, opinion, and entertainment. What is amazing is the medium allows for user generated content. There is more unilateral freedom of expression.

The guarantees of free expression, is sacrosanct. The principle remains unchanged, with or without the Internet. The impact of the Social Media, in the protection of this freedom, as well as State restriction from abuse of this freedom, are likely to be debatable issues.

Hackers are now on the rampage cracking government websites as if taunting the government, and show them how vulnerable they could be.

There is no question that censorship in whatever form is repugnant to free speech and press. As the most complex vehicle, in this age, for the expression of ideas, or even of art or entertainment, the Social Media should not be excluded from the protection of this freedom.

I agree with the observation that this law might infringe on free speech, because it seems to impose prior restraint, and subsequent punishment. This is not the same as saying that there should be absolute and unbridled freedom in the internet, which could also be destructive and injurious. We need good law to balance these interests.

Published with permission from the true author who has to remain anonymous.

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