Tuesday, October 9, 2012

0 BREAKING NEWS: SC stops cybercrime law

SC issues TRO on new cyber law
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The SC magistrated unanimously voted for the issuance of the TRO.

Fifteen petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutiionality of the new cyber law, which President Benigno Aquino III signed last September 12.

The TRO's issuance came as the Department of Justice (DOJ) was holding a cybercrime forum in its office in Manila.

At the forum, DOJ Assistant Secretary Geronimo Sy said that the law will not target bloggers and social media users. He said what the law is seeking to after are the "most pernicious" crimes.

Sy also said that the DOJ is uninterested in personal communications among social media users, belying claims that the law would hamper free speech on the internet.

He added that the DOJ would not allow any politician to use the law to get back at his critics.

Fifteen petitions seeking the declaration of the law as unconstitutional and illegal have been filed before the Supreme Court.

First cyber case

Sy said that the first case filed before the DOJ under the new law involves the sex video of a 17-year-old girl, who was first abused when she was 15.

"The video is all over the internet. The permanence is there. She can no longer face anyone. Can we stop the videos? No. What we can do is to provide counselling to the woman, change her identity and to have her relocated. This case validated 10 years of work of frustration. So long as we can help one Filipino and one vulnerable [person, this is worth it]," Sy said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, in a statement posted in her website, said she predicts that the SC will "strike down Cybercrime Act as unconstitutional."

"In my humble opinion, the law as presently worded is unconstitutional.

"The Cybercrime Act is a law that dangerously limits the growth of the marketplace of ideas. Therefore, it is presumed to be unconstitutional. But in addition, the law is unconstitutional, because it uses language that is overbroad, and language that is too vague. In other words, it violates the overbreadth doctrine and the void for vagueness doctrine in constitutional law," she added.

LET US NOT FORGET that TROs are short-term temporary injunctions. Huwag masyadong kampante. Stay vigilant. =)


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