What We Need to Know

Friday, October 05, 2012

I'm not a lawyer nor a law student but I definitely heard the phrase Ignorantia legis neminem excusat or Ignorance of the law excuses no one and what it means which is for me, any person who is unaware of the law may not escape liability for breaking the law.

The past few days, the whole country was shaken up when a new legislation was passed. Republic Act No. 10175 or more commonly known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 promises to protect us citizens from the people who would do us wrong (e.g. hackers, identity theft, cyber bullies) via digital means. It was also created to safeguard the integrity of computers and other communication devices as well as the confidentiality of the available information and data. Any forms of abuse, misuse or any other illegal acts will be punishable under the law. Sounds good right?

Yes, this legislation has its own good purpose that will benefit us but we cant ignore the fact that this same law also threatens to take away our freedom to say anything we want and our ability to enjoy the wonders of technology. As Sen. Guingona III (one of the senators who are against this) said:
 “If you click ‘like,’ you can be sued, and if you share, you can also be sued,”

Spot.ph summarizes the new law's questionable parts briefly explaining it and listed it into its own 10 Scary Things about the Cybercrime Prevention Act . It will give you insights on what this law was all about including the punishments one would likely face if found guilty.

Despite protests against the new legislation, the government as of yet, showed no signs of backing down. In fact, it is already starting to protect some government owned websites against such thing. As shown here when I try to access one:

Once again, our government exercises a new way to control us. Preventing us to exercise our freedom of speech? that's not a solution to make this country a better place to live in. No one, not even our government can stop us from exercising our freewill. I heard that there are some lawmakers that are trying to review provisions under this new law but while waiting for news about it, I'll go ahead and download some movies and books online.

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