The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Reflection Paper

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A few weeks ago, the country was shocked due to the sudden implementation of RA 1015 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. I seldom watch the news but I found out about the law after my mom warned me to be careful of what I post online. I was surprised because my mom has never told me that before. I figured it wasn’t much of a big deal so I shrugged off my mom’s warning. However, as the news about the bill began to spread, a lot of people started to express their opposition to the newly-implemented law.

I began to realize that this act was actually a really big deal. I was astounded after reading some explanations as to why the bill shouldn’t be implemented. Why would the government pass a law that hampers democracy? How come only one senator noticed the flaws and loopholes of the bill? I saw a post as to why Senator TG Guingona opposed the said law. First of all, the provisions in the law are vague and unclear. Virtually anyone can be liable and be charged with crime. Second, the punishment is too grave and unfair. A 12-year sentence? That’s too much. Third, it’s oppressive. You can be charged with two counts of libel, one under the Revised Penal Code and the second under the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

As a student, this law gravely affects me. We all know that many adolescents are very active on the internet. I’m an active netizen as well and because some of the provisions on the law are vague and unclear, I could be charged with crime, even if I just retweet, like or share posts containing criticisms. Second, isn’t a basic human right to be able to express one’s self freely? The Philippines is a democratic country and this law simply curtails freedom of expression.

However, the Cybercrime Prevention Act is not all that bad. It’s actually good that we finally have a law that aims to prevent cyber crime in the country. After several cases of unsolved internet crimes (resulting to online criminals not being penalized for their crimes), it’s...
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