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A legal warning for forum posters


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From: Visayan Daily Star

 

at: http://www.visayandailystar.com/2014/February/19/negor4.htm

 

dated: 19 February 2014

 

The law referred to below carries penalties of PHP1M fines and up to 14 years in prison. It also contains sections prohibiting "blackening the reputation of a dead person" whether the facts are true or not. I thought it would be good for forumers to know about it.

 

Supreme Court 
upholds ‘cyber libel’ law

MANILA – The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a cybercrime law penalizing online libel is constitutional, disappointing critics who argue it could curb Internet freedom in one of Asia's most freewheeling democracies.

The Cybercrime Protection Law was passed in 2012 to stamp out online scourges such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child p*ornography, but its implementation was suspended after coming under challenge from various groups.

The SC said however that one of its most controversial provisions, the section which penalizes cyber libel, "is not unconstitutional", spokesman Theodore Te said.

Only the sender of the material faced prosecution and not the recipient, Te added.

The court also upheld provisions penalizing cyber-squatting, computer fraud, identity theft and gaining illegal access through a computer, he said.

Opponents of the law could still file a motion for reconsideration, Te added.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the Supreme Court decision was "timely" as the government needed it to deal with the growing number of cybercrime cases.

"In the intervening period when the (law was suspended), cybercrime in its many forms was continuing and even escalating," she said. "A clear legal framework is necessary to protect citizens and balance the state's duties."

But Neri Colmenares, a congressman who was among those who challenged the law, said they may appeal.

"The government should not be the prosecutor of stained reputations," Colmenares said, branding it a "draconian law".

"No one should go to prison just for expressing oneself, especially on the Internet, where people express their frustration with government," he said.

President Benigno Aquino signed the law in 2012 but opponents quickly said it gave the government wide powers to curb Internet freedom due to provisions that impose heavy prison terms for online libel.

The original law also gave the state power to shut down websites and monitor online activities, in a country where major protests have been organized through Facebook and Twitter.

The SC yesterday "partially granted the relief" sought by the law's opponents, when it ruled as unlawful a provision giving the Justice Department powers to shut down websites or record Internet traffic data in real time.

But Terry Ridon, a congressman representing the youth sector in parliament, still vowed to challenge the law.

While the high court entertains appeals, it rarely reverses decisions.

"The fight against e-Martial Law is far from over. We call on everyone to up the ante and once again show our collective dissent against this repressive law," Ridon said.

Justice Department Assistant Secretary Geronimo Sy said authorities would concentrate on more serious crimes like child p*ornography, human and drug trafficking, financial fraud and hacking rather than online libel.*AFP

 

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You shouldn't blacken the reputation of dead software.   I wonder if you could just phrase everything as a question and skip all this libel nonsense.   "Paul was seen walking out of Mango Square

It will take a lot of resources to properly enforce this law. What a top priority for  country who has so many hungry children running around in the streets! 

We have made this point before, but it is good to bring it up again. Paul can attest that this site is monitored at times by some government officials so don't get mad at us when we deem it necessary

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Monsoon

It will take a lot of resources to properly enforce this law. What a top priority for  country who has so many hungry children running around in the streets! 

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in a country where major protests have been organized through Facebook and Twitter. :wheel: 

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RogerDuMond

We have made this point before, but it is good to bring it up again. Paul can attest that this site is monitored at times by some government officials so don't get mad at us when we deem it necessary to remove certain posts. Yes the owner of this list can be sued for things that others post here.

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Jack_be_nimble

Good post.  It's a good reminder that we should think before posting.

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Also, in most other countries libel is defined as being something said that is not true. Under Philippines' law, it can be true but still be libelous. Here's an old newspaper report if you want a reference: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121002/18033220575/philippines-new-cybercrime-law-aims-to-protect-citizens-going-after-filesharing-online-libel.shtml

 

So, writing in a forum, "Marcos was a bad president" is actually a jailable offence, technically at least. While that's hyperbole it shows how strict the law is.

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Skywalker

Can I say Bitcoin is a massive scam, or do I have to wait until it's dead in the water?   :girldevil:

 

Or, when it's dead in the water, is it  then protected under the rules concerning libel for the dead?

 

These laws are simply another nail in the coffin of credibility for the Republic.  Thailand also labours under similar laws, and they wonder why it's hard to be taken seriously on the World stage.

Edited by Skywalker
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Can I say Bitcoin is a massive scam, or do I have to wait until it's dead in the water? :girldevil:

 

Or, when it's dead in the water, is it then protected under the rules concerning libel for the dead?

 

You shouldn't blacken the reputation of dead software.

 

I wonder if you could just phrase everything as a question and skip all this libel nonsense.

 

"Paul was seen walking out of Mango Square with three ladyboys last night....or was he?"

 

It's not a statement, it's a question....or is it?

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Monsoon

 

"Paul was seen walking out of Mango Square with three ladyboys last night....or was he?"

 

Only three?

 

Just testing your hypothesis. Will wait for the court papers. If none then perhaps this is a viable avoidance.

 

 

 

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Davaoeno

Also, in most other countries libel is defined as being something said that is not true. Under Philippines' law, it can be true but still be libelous. Here's an old newspaper report if you want a reference: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121002/18033220575/philippines-new-cybercrime-law-aims-to-protect-citizens-going-after-filesharing-online-libel.shtml

 

So, writing in a forum, "Marcos was a bad president" is actually a jailable offence, technically at least. While that's hyperbole it shows how strict the law is.

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I wonder if they will be raiding internet cafe's and arresting owners of mythical caribou's that have recently died ?

Edited by KID
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JamesMusslewhite

Yep, it is sure hard to expect these expats to think before they post....

 

Paris_Tuileries_Garden_Facepalm_statue.j

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Yes the owner of this list can be sued for things that others post here.

 

Not that they would get anything out of me, except my bills. 

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RogerDuMond

Not that they would get anything out of me, except my bills. 

 

hundred dollar bills

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So, under this law if a poster posts about a negative experience he had with a local company, even if all the poster posts is true, he is still liable under this law and could even go to jail?  Do I have this right?

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