PLM Picket at Supreme Court Against Cybercrime Law PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 12:25

123

Please click the image above to view all photos.

 

PLM STATEMENT ON THE CYBERCRIME ACT OF 2012

 

Technological developments, nay, social progress must lead to increased democratization and not to more curtailment of freedoms. The advent of the Internet and related technologies has opened a wide and free access to democratic space wherein ordinary citizens, including the oppressed workers and, in general, the laboring and propertyless masses, could participate in studying and gathering information and discussing social and political issues.

 

The Internet has evolved into such a powerful democratic tool that upheavals in other parts of the world were aided by the use of this cheap technology to organize netizens and gather them for collective action against oppressive governments. Such was the case in the Middle East and North Africa which saw the downfall of despotic regimes, in Europe where thousands upon thousands took to the streets against the austerity measures and in the United States where the Occupy Wall St. movement was launched against the world’s richest capitalists, or the global 1%. The graffiti “Thank you Facebook” painted on several of Tunisia’s walls during the Arab Spring sums up this modern phenomenon.

 

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 represents for the Philippines a backward step in this development. The law is replete with repressive provisions that violate democratic rights enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. It legitimizes government censorship through Sec. 19, which authorizes the Department of Justice to issue an order to restrict or block access to any content. It institutes in Sec. 12 a regime of surveillance of all system users by authorizing law enforcers to collect or record traffic data in real-time associated with specified communications. It curtails free speech with its libel provision (Sec. 4) and treatment of Internet use as an aggravating circumstance that increases penalties for crimes defined under the Revised Penal Code (Sec. 6).

 

With the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the Philippine government has caught on to the global trend of denying mass and social movements access to effective means for articulating their demands. Based on several studies published by the OpenNet Initiative, starting the year 2000, governments across the world realized the threat to the power structure posed by the Internet where the freest of speech is expressed. Hence, governments adopted filtering, censorship and surveillance practices in order to restrict, block or control access.

 

These studies show that filtering practices and policies vary widely among countries, the most notorious of which is the “Great Firewall of China”. Blocked content spans a wide range of social and political topics and governments justify their filtering by referring to one content category, such as pornography, while other content categories were also being blocked. OpenNet Initiative noted “the tendency toward ‘mission creep’ --- that is, once filtering systems were adopted for whatever reason, state authorities would be tempted to employ them to deal with other vexing public policy issues.” In the meantime, state authorities harness the Internet in a way that promotes government-friendly content.

 

In the Philippines, where official statistics of Filipino families that have experienced hunger rose to 21 percent or about 4.3 million in the past three months; where, according to the Commission on Audit, over 100 billion pesos were lost to corruption under Pnoy’s Daang Matuwid; where elite governance and Trapo politics dominate; where the workers and the poor masses face the constant threat of starvation, high prices of basic commodities and services, termination from jobs and demolition, the Internet provides yet another powerful venue to criticize anti-worker/, anti-poor policies, articulate progressive demands, and subject government to public scrutiny and accountability.

 

The Internet represents an increasingly contested space where the Philippine State seeks to close all avenues of popular challenge to elite rule and governance. It is a domain wherein conflicts between the elite who are the rulers and the majority who are ruled take place. We must not yield a single inch of our freedoms.

 

Repeal the Cybercrime Prevention Act now!

 

 

Announcements

plm_poster_congress_copy


Join the Campaigns!

 

anti-trpo icon

Anti Trapo Campaign!

 

Government of the Masses Campaign! icon

Government of the Masses Campaign!


Socialist_Feminism_Cover
Renewing Socialist Feminism

 

Visitors Counter

mod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_counter
mod_vvisit_counterToday643
mod_vvisit_counterThis month18764

Your IP: 54.198.185.195
,
Today: Aug 19, 2017