Home > Social Media, Websites > First SOPA, Then PIPA, Now What?

First SOPA, Then PIPA, Now What?

The Internet was hit hard earlier this year with laws restricting access to certain parts of the web. Users were in an obvious frenzy about these laws, and soon enough they were disbanded. Now, in the Philippines, something very similar is happening.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 was signed into law on September 12, 2012 by President Benigno S. Aquino. The act is supposed to set penalties for Internet crime acts like child pornography, identity theft, online fraud, etc. But what has users so worried is that simply by sharing information on Facebook and Twitter, they could serve the penalty by spending time in jail.

Reasons behind these penalties lies in the act’s definition and use of libel. The act sticks to the existing legal definition of libel to online users. This means that if a post on any social media outlet can be deemed libelous, then the penalty is imprisonment.

Much like in USA, Internet users in the Philippines have had quite the reaction to this throttle on Internet usage. According to reports done by The New York Times, bloggers submitted blank posts, social media users changed their profile photos to blank silhouettes and hackers even attacked the President’s web sites.

Currently, the law is still in place, but actions have been made to disband it. Philippine senators have admitted to not even reading the law before passing it, and hopes are high that a law like this will be dissolved.

 

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