Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Protection or Suppression

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The Impact of Republic Act 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 on Filipino Citizens Czaika Kate Írica V. Cervantes
University of the Philippines Visayas, Miagao, Iloilo City

Author Note
This paper was prepared for Communication Skills 2, Section 7, taught by Prof. Frances Y. Lacuesta

Abstract
In the recent years, a new term has raised “cybercrime”, which essentially focuses on the growing concern about the use of electronic communication for criminal activities. Because of certain “cybercrimes” the Republic Act (RA) No. 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which defines cybercrime as offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems; computer-related fraud, forgeries and identity-theft; and content-related offenses like cybersex, child pornography, unsought commercial communications and libel, was passed by Philippines' president Benigno Aquino III on September last year but had come under fire for its vague definition of online libel, violation of personal rights, and tough legal penalties for Internet defamation. In this study, whether Cybercrime Law is for protection or suppression is analyzed, its advantages and disadvantages and its effects on not just the citizens but also the country is stated.

The Impact of Republic Act 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 on Filipino Citizens Web sites, e-mail, blogs, tweets, videos and images, message alerts, instant messaging, Facebook, voice chat, and other Internet-based technologies have begun to overtake the traditional media as primary information sources for a growing share of the world population. These media enable media to create an open environment while speeding delivery of important information to the public. The web is rapidly evolving and is having impact on millions of people’s behaviors and opinions all over the world. Little more than a decade ago, all you could really do was read static content on web sites. Today, anyone can create rich and interactive content from anywhere in the world where there is a network connection and with any device. The Internet and the Web has become an important part of Philippine Society. First, because the Internet has become the information highway of economic growth, second, because Internet Communication Technology and Computers have become a critical part of our daily lives and third, for all its imperfection cyberspace is a forum for ideas and a bastion of freedom, a fortress of Democracy. The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is the first law in the Philippines which specifically criminalizes computer crime, which preceding to the passage of the law had no strong legal guide in Philippine jurisprudence. Sometimes, a human being’s ability to misunderstand seems almost endless that is why certain groups have risen to question the legality of this law and some filed petitions to nullify some provisions of the law and the act has been criticized for its provision on criminalizing libel, which seems to be a restriction in freedom of expression. The Aquino administration’s insistence that the country needs this law that essentially strips netizens of their freedom of expression, speech, and privacy only raises fears that the government is manhandling the laws of the land to silence critics and rebels and so it was dubbed as “e-Martial Law” legislation. The passage of RA 10175 gave a “chilling impact” to bloggers, online journalists, advocacy groups and especially normal netizens. Basically, the Cybercrime Law seeks to silence opposition whether in the real world or online. Purpose of Implementing the Cybercrime Law

The authors and supporters of this law claims that the law is needed to regulate how people behave in cyberspace. Rapid technology advancement has revolutionized how people share ideas on line, especially through social media. In the Philippines, with Internet penetration at 30 million or about 30 percent of the population,...
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