The Digital Age and Human Rights.
In the lead up to the May 2010 elections, UNESCO Philippines presented a white paper to presidential candidates enumerating their recommendations for much needed policies in Philippines.
Key among them were policy themes focusing on internet access as instrumental in human resource development; anchors, if you will, for the Philippines in the digital age.
9. Approve a Universal Internet Access Policy aligned with the World Summit on Information Society.
10. Approve a Broad Band Bill of Rights
The World Summit on Information Society took place in 2003 in Geneva. From that initial meeting a Declaration of Principles was released. Important to our current situation is the following declaration:
We reaffirm, as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the Information Society offers.
It is important to read the entirety of the document and all sixty-seven principles, they are all in some way applicable to the Philippines today, and most especially our current situation.
A quick run through of the core principles demonstrates a desire on the part of this multi-stakeholder document to foster a global environment of inclusiveness. Of particular note is the fact that there is a concerted effort to project the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) into the digital age. The crafters of this declaration, and all sovereign states that were a part of the process, obviously believed that the fundamental rights of human beings does not end at the keyboard of a computer. What happens in the digital space demands as much attention to human rights and dignity as what happens in the ‘real world.’
Information technology, the internet, social media space, cyberspace, or whatever we choose to call it, falls under the same guiding principles of human rights and development as any other space. The sheer ignorance displayed by Philippine elected officials in drafting and ratifying the the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is staggering, precisely because it inadvertently infringes on globally accepted standards of human rights. Not only does it infringe on portions of the Philippine Constitution, it seemingly works against key globally accepted multi-lateral agreements.
There has to be a fundamental presumption of protection of basic human rights and freedoms for an enlightened society to prosper. The fear of the unknown and ignorance (this is not an accusation, senators have already admitted they were unaware of all of the Cybercrime provisions) displayed by Congress should give all of us pause in the upcoming elections. A government that seeks to control its population through draconian measures best left in history is essentially setting itself against universally agreed upon standards of human development and rights protections. Rights are not absolute, but neither is government.
I have hope that the controversial provisions of the Cybercrime Law will be excised. Already Senators are jumping on the bandwagon led by TG Guingona. I am sure others will be following suit as the full implications of this public relations disaster become apparent. I am almost positive the Aquino administration will barely lift a finger in defense of the Law.
That being said, the passing of this law shows critical shortfalls in the ways and means bills are crafted, vetted, and ratified; not only on the part of congressmen and senators, but civil society and media at large. When a political process knowingly or not produces a document so antithetical to fostering a human rights centered, development oriented society something is critically flawed. That demands a bit of soul-searching on all our part. To be blunt, any bill that does not, at its heart, uphold the essential and universal rights of human beings, is anti-development. It exists as a measure of control and debasement; an attempt to strip away the dignity of humans, in favor of stagnation and social ennui.
The very first declaration of principles by the World Summit on the Information Society is a principle we should best remember. Obviously, UNESCO Philippines did, they made these principles central to their information technology policy recommendations.
We…declare our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights. What a novel concept to keep in mind.
Anong gagawin natin sa kanila. Mga ********. Hindi na kayo *******. Mga *******
For the record, the following senators voted to pass the law:
- Sen. Tito Sotto
- Sen. Bong Revilla
- Sen. Manny Villar
- Sen. Lito Lapid
- Sen. Koko Pimentel
- Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
- Sen. Loren Legarda
- Sen. Chiz Escudero
- Sen. Ping Lacson
- Sen. Gringo Honasan
- Sen. Pia Cayetano
- Sen. Bongbong Marcos
- Sen. Ralph Recto
Kung mapasa man ang Cyber Crime Law, ETO try mo....
WE ARE ALL AGAINST CYBERCRIME PREVENTION LAW!
When the cyberlibel goes into effect tomorrow (Oct. 3, 2012), here are my suggestions how to go around the said bill:
Ex: “Kalukis itechiwa Gobyerlalu, Wititit na pwede humanash ng kung anik anik. Kundi Kulongbels na. Ano ve? puro mga eklavu. Tegiboom boom na Karapatsina!” - Kung beki ang pulitiko, mage-get pa rin nila pero good luck sa hearing na puro beki speak ang libelous quotes hahaha
Ex: Ta3na nhman pohwz ang mHayOwr nm!n d2, WLa PakinaBangz AMP! Ghow to Hellz mHayOwr!
3. Pauso ng Codes
Fuguck Thigis Puguliguticus
pwede din gamitin ang FLAMES, HOPE, JAPAN and LOVE
Number codes, pati na rin morse code lol
4. Gumamit ng Sarcasm
Ex: Wow, the best talaga si Tito Sotto at lahat ng nagpasa ng cybercrime bill. I love them so so so much!! Wooo idol!
CREDITS to you guys :D
Our country is clearly going to hell.Digital Martial Law: 10 Scary Things About the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012
1. It only wants to hear nice things . If you’re a law-abiding citizen who happens to use blogs, Facebook, and Twitter to let the world know about your beef against, say, certain elected officials who are far from being geniuses—then you’ve been living a lie. Under the Cybercrime Prevention Act, you’re just like any other cybercriminal. Your tweet about the barangay captain who loves San Miguel more than his job? That could be classified as libel, which is defined in the Revised Penal Code as “the public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person…” Take note of the part where it says “real or imaginary.” You’re damned if you’re lying and you’re damned if you’re telling the truth.
2. It champions the dead by asking the living to shut up. Under the Cybercrime Prevention Act, you would also be committing a crime if you “blacken the memory of one who is dead.” So, what happens if the person who died was a criminal who molested kids, backed a law that resulted in thousands of people being tortured, or killed journalists—and you’re documenting his or her evil deeds for a history book? Out of being nice, do you erase the “bad parts” of his or her life? The law says, if you can’t say anything good, then you better not say anything at all. That’s great for petty issues but not when we’re talking about people who use their position to take advantage of defenseless individuals.
3. It’s so “special” that it hurts. In an InterAksyon.com article, News5 resource person Atty. Mel Sta. Maria—who teachers at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law—pointed out that the Cybercrime Prevention Act is tagged as a mala prohibita law. Sta. Maria explained: “It is an accepted legal rule that offenses under special laws are considered mala prohibita as distinguished from mala in se. [For mala in se], there must be a criminal mind to be convicted. In murder, theft, robbery and other offenses punished by our Revised Penal Code, for example, intention to do wrong is an essential element. [For mala prohibita], there need not be a criminal mind. The mere perpetuation of the prohibited act is enough.” So, even if you’re kidding around by using somebody’s name as a verb or noun to signify not-too-admirable acts (Noynoying, Sottomy, etc), you could get arrested.
4. It’s a time traveler. In an InterAksyon.com article written by Patrick Villavicencio, University of the Philippines College of Law Professor Atty. JJ Disini said that under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 the so-called “victims” and their lawyers “could argue in court that old libelous posts [that are] still live today can be charged with online libel.” The report further quoted Disini, who explained, “Kasi pwede nilang sabihin na (Because it could mean) by keeping it there today, you’re still publishing it now. So if you’re still publishing it after the law took effect, then you’re liable for its publication today.” So, that scathing post about your ex that you put up way back in 2004? You could end up going to jail for that. It’s an I Know What You Posted Several Summers Ago scenario.
5. It’s outdated. An InterAksyon.com article, citing Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia, noted: “The Philippines’ libel law, enacted during the American colonial period and intended mainly to stifle dissent, continues to consider the offense a criminal act. Media organizations contend the law on libel has most often been used by people in power to harass journalists and muzzle critical reportage.”
6. It won’t like you liking what it doesn’t like. Those who play a part in unwittingly or willfully encouraging the spread of libelous content shall be charged for abetting libel. That means the act of clicking the “Like” button of Facebook or retweeting posts on Twitter may be tagged as unlawful as well. Time to “unlike” those anti-establishment Facebook pages and unfollow those fake Twitter accounts spoofing persons in power.
7. It’s prudish. Under the Cybercrime Prevention Act, cybersex is a crime. We agree that it is so—when it’s a profit-oriented venture taking advantage of hapless individuals such as minors or those who have been directly or indirectly coerced into the seedy industry. The law defines cybersex thus: “The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.” However, what if cybersex is done by two consenting adults? If a woman sends a picture of herself eating ice cream in a suggestive manner to her boyfriend, will she be stoned to death sent to jail if someone rats her out?
8. It shits on wit. In his InterAksyon opinion piece, Ramil Digal Gulle explained: “Interestingly, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has also ruled that even ironic, suggestive, or metaphorical language could be considered libelous. You don’t have to directly call someone a liar and a thief to get sued for libel. It’s enough to suggest it or state it sarcastically—as long as you do so in a public manner like posting on the Internet.” (We’re taking this opportunity to ask our followers, to please visit us in jail if they have the time or if they’re not already in jail with us.)
9. It won’t play fair. In an InterAksyon.com article, Atty. Mel Sta. Maria pointed out: “Section 1 of Article III of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution provides that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.’ However, under Section 19 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, ‘when a computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer.’” No court intervention is needed, the DOJ can go right ahead and compel you to stop publishing your posts.
10. It’s got killer penalties. If you get nabbed for online libel, you may spend a maxiumum of 12 years in prison and be fined a maximum of ₱1,000,000. It’s like a trick question: Would you rather shell out the hefty amount that would kill you or would you rather waste 12 years of your life behind bars, where, at some point, you’d wish you were dead?