If you are a Pinoy Facebook user or have a bunch of Pinoy friends on Facebook, you were probably wondering what the heck was going on a couple of days ago when you logged in with all of the blacked out profile pictures on your news feed. I for one spent the next few minutes thinking Facebook was compromised! Well, there was no such thing. It was actually a number of Pinoy Facebook users protesting the Cyber Crime Law that was due to go into effect the day after. There were even some playful comments that looked blacked out, followed by “[ᴄᴏᴍᴍᴇɴᴛ ʙʟᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ.] (ʀᴀ ɴᴏ. 10175)”. Freaky.
For those of you who aren’t aware of what the whole deal is behind the Cyber Crime Law (Republic Act No. 10175), it is important that you educate yourselves. At first glimpse, the law is well-intentioned, providing government agencies like the PNP with the legal tools needed to combat things like cybersex, online child pornography, identity theft and spamming. However at the last minute, a provision was attached that addressed online libel.
That might seem innocent enough, but then you start to realize that the law can easily be interpreted where a simple blog/Facebook post, comment or like can be considered libelous, particularly when naming names, or even “aiding or abetting a cybercrime”. Some groups have even gone so far as to call it something akin to “e-martial law”. Sounds funny, but this is very, very real.
It might be difficult to understand the implications of the Cyber Crime Law – unless of course you are a lawyer or are studying in law school – so here’s a video by Lourd De Veyra of Radioactive Sago Project fame that will make things easier for you.
You can also check out the law in its entirety by checking out this post by Technoodling.