if you are pinoy and use the internet, with the use of your cellphone, computer or tablet either for work or pleasure, you have to support senator miriam santiago’s “Internet Freedom Bill” ( Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom). the bill is meant to repeal the poorly written, badly thought of Cybercrime Law which was unfortunately passed last year but now put on hold as it is challenged at the Supreme Court.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday filed a separate bill on Internet freedom virtually to counter the repressive and contentious provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which was stopped by the Supreme Court pending resolution on its constitutionality.
Under the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, Santiago explained that the time has come for the establishment of a comprehensive State framework for the administration of Internet and information and communication technology in the Philippines, “a task that should be jointly undertaken by the government and the private sector.”
“Unless this framework is set in place, the temptation looms that the challenges engendered by these new technologies will be addressed in a reactionary, irrational, and haphazard manner that ultimately impede national progress,” Santiago said.
She added that the Senate Bill No. 53 provides for appropriate mechanism and command structures within the government to address ICT-enabled threats and promote online access and social benefits.
Shortly after the Internet was first used in the country in 1994, Congress has crafted measures to ensure the protection of the public, such as the Electronic Commerce Act (RA 8792) and Data Privacy Act (RA 10173).
“Unfortunately, there remains legislation that confines the Philippines to 20th century capabilities in this 21st century information society,” she said.
“Clearly, the laws that have an impact on cyrberspace must address the realities of the present and the challenges of the future,” Santiago added.
Among the pertinent provisions on Internet rights and freedom instituted by Santiago on the proposed measure (Part 2, Chapter III), are:
- Protection of the Internet as an open network
- Promotion of network neutrality
- Promotion of universal access to the internet
- Right to privilege access to devices
- Right to freedom of speech and expression on the internet
- Protection of the freedom to innovate and create without permission
- Right to privacy of data
- Right to security of data
- Protection of intellectual property
- Promotion of development of internet, network and information and communications infrastructures
“The State, as the primary duty-bearer, shall uphold constitutional rights, privileges, guarantees, and obligations in the development and implementation of policies related to the Internet and information and communication technology,” the bill said.
If passed, the law mandates the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to be the principal administration of this Act as such take the necessary measures for the implementation of policies and objectives set forth in the measure.
read in full here, click : Internet Freedom Bill
the first oral arguments challenging the approved Cyber Crime Law, Republic Act 10175 was held january 15, 2013 at the supreme court. this law has been signed by president noynoy aquino but was quickly challenged at the supreme court as unconstitutional by several parties.
the SC issued a restraining order on the implementation of the law until this month. the oral argument by the petitioners were held as part of the process before the supreme court makes a ruling on the petitions. the government will present its side in the next scheduled oral argument.
a total of 15 petitions were lodged at the supreme court.
here are the links to the important information on the issue.
list of petitioners : http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/features/oral_arguments/cybercrime/index.ph
the above link also includes this section : “Consolidated Comment of the Solicitor General” with this as the first paragraph. read the rest in the link above.
the SG’s comments raise these questions:
- didn’t the SG read the law first and give his opinion or recommendation to president aquino before he signed this into law? there is no procedure in malacanang where the SG or justice department first goes through the law submitted for signature to the president?
- the HOR and senate are full of lawyer congressmen and senators, they drafted and approved a law that has unconstitutional provisions in it? all of them missed that part?
this is the link to Petition #15 lodged by the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance, et al. : http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/features/oral_arguments/cybercrime/203518.php