May kasabihan ang mga matatanda "pag hinawakan mo ng mahigpit, lalong kumakawala."
The freedom online is now in danger of being extinct. You could smell the stink of censorship, lockdowns and monitoring of all internet activity. That means every click of your mouse, every letter you type, every bit and byte of data going in and out of your online computer can be tracked and used against you. The right to privacy might disappear as THEY squeeze tighter. To those who understand the implications, they will definitely want to get out of the "squeeze."
What are the implications of this new law? According to experts, there are a lot of loopholes and vagueness in the Republic Act 10175 or the Anti Cybercrime Law. Some of its provisions are deemed unconstitutional. Internationally, it was recognized as a bold move, but as many claim, hastily done. A lot still needs to be consulted, understood and discussed regarding the then-bill-now-law. Expect changes in the internet landscape of the Philippines. The list is long but here are some of the possibilities:
- Websites may be banned, blocked or not become accessible here in the Philippines if its in violation of the Act.
- Law enforcers don't need any search warrants or court orders to monitor your online activities via the ISPs or Internet Service Providers.
- Comments, opinions, statements or any published "expression" done online can be used as grounds for libel. That means content in blogs, forums, online journals, e-books, and social networking posts and comments.
- Free file sharing technologies or file sharing sites might become "regulated," paid or much worse, shut down. You could get penalized by downloading copyright-infringed content.
- Videos like the cigarette executive beating up the MMDA Officer will not be seen again and concerned citizens will not publish their content anymore.
- Arrests on Internet Cafes will frequent the news.
- 33 Million + internet users in the country will increase with difficulty.
- Online Ads can become illegal.
- The average 300-500 Facebook Friends of Filipinos will go down by 70-80% because you can't trust them all not to report you or accidentally share your "libelous" content.
- Pornography and adult sites will be banned from operating in Philippine Cyberspace.
- The Dark Ages of the Internet befalls upon the Philippines while other countries are happily treading to their Online Golden Ages. We haven't even gotten very far from Internet Stone Age, its the Dark Ages already?
In 2010, the ProPinoy Project published an article going over the Anti-Cybercrime Bill, but apparently, no one seems threatened at that time or that the threat is less understood. So people ignored and went on with their lives, and now the threat becomes real. And its ugly.
People are now in protest of the apparent "martial law" online. We have a reason to become concerned and feel fear. See the copy of the approved RA 10175 or Anti-Cybercrime Law here: http://www.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/
The Pinoy Warrior makes a stand against some parts of the Anti-Cybercrime Law. Filipino Culture is being promoted, grown and appreciated online. The organic growth of online Filipinos gives more opportunities for appreciating Filipino Culture online, both foreign and our own countrymen. Curbing it means preventing the love of our culture. Freedom of expression is important for us Pinoys and its what our ancestors have fought for over a century ago. Though RA 10175's apparent intentions are good, some provisions are disturbing and suspicious enough, you'd wonder why its there. We support the fight against the restriction of internet in the Philippines.