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Filipino netizens freest in Asia, 6th freest in world

MANILA, Philippines—Filipino netizens are the freest in Asia and sixth in the world when it comes to Internet freedom, according to a study by a Washington DC-based advocacy group released as outrage builds in the Philippines over a new cybercrime law.

The study of Freedom House found the Philippines having the greatest degree of Internet freedom among the countries examined in Asia. Second in rank is South Korea and next is India. China, meanwhile, belongs to the “Not Free” category.

In the entire world, Estonia has the freest cyberspace while the United State has the second freest, the Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media showed.

The Philippines, which has 29 percent internet penetration as of 2011, shares the sixth spot with Italy.

“Iran, Cuba, and China received the lowest scores in the analysis,” said the study.  “Eleven other countries received a ranking of Not Free, including Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Thailand.”

“A total of 20 of the 47 countries examined experienced a negative trajectory in internet freedom since January 2011, with Bahrain, Pakistan, and Ethiopia registering the greatest declines,” it said.

Freedom House also identified a number of countries it sees as particularly vulnerable to deterioration of internet freedom in the coming 12 months: Azerbaijan, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.

“Several downgrades, particularly in the Middle East, reflected intensified censorship, arrests, and violence against bloggers as the authorities sought to quell public calls for reform. In Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and China, authorities imposed new restrictions after observing the key role that social media played in the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia,” the study said.

The study came as Filipinos protest the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, a new law that could see people sentenced to 12 years in jail for posting defamatory comments on social media networks.

The stated aim of the cybercrime law is to fight online pornography, hacking, identity theft and spamming in the conservative Catholic nation amid police complaints they lack the legal tools to stamp out Internet crime.

However, it also includes a blanket provision that puts the country’s criminal libel law into force in cyberspace, except that the penalties for Internet defamation are much tougher compared with old media.

It also allows authorities to collect data from personal user accounts on social media and listen in on voice/video applications, such as Skype, without a warrant. With Agence France-Presse


Also read: Filipino netizens are the freest in Asia — but maybe not for long

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Tags: Cybercrime , Freedom , Freedom House , Internet , Law , Libel , Philippines , protest , Social Media

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.aamproz Alexander Aamproz

    Freedom for death squad’s, private armies, Trapos and SC Judges


    The Anti-Cybercrime Law is a protection for good and responsible
    internet users against internet criminals and bullies. Every country
    needs this kind of law at this computer age. Everything is regulated. Even speech on air and in print is regulated. the same thing with internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wong-Fei-Hong/100002527307006 Wong Fei Hong

    cyber freedom?!! oh yeah, a great mistake and liability on philippine society, about time to turn philippine into red country…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J7CZYPZWNB37S6GTPBJQF6Y7BM Fight D Bigots

      and let the communist leaders curtail all your civil liberties and remain a poor, exploited worker while the leaders enjoy so much power and money 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PZR7JI7G2WD2CTVMZ7LM667FD4 Ugly Bunny

    Filipino netizens among freest in Asia? That news was so yesterday. :))

    • redkinoko

       I dont see anybody taking down anything.

  • neverwint3r

    how about yung ranking ng pinas in terms of internet coverage, speed and reliability? i’m pretty sure it ranks among the last

    • Richmond Acosta

      meron na yung ganyang survey early this year, Indonesia at Philippines nga ang slowest in Asia.

    • walt723

      match it with Philippines has the highest electricity cost lol “BOOM”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6TLXGPP6B3E37BPKHYTZZCPZRQ Sparks

    Cyber Laws for those who are thinking positively and right. Today and onwards, be aware of what we or you are talking and  writing about in the internet,  think twice, many times before you act against to somebody, a condition that a netizen person let or should cyberlaw teach us to consider respect to a person you are referring to, in return that others or those persons would respect you.  

    • reddfrog

      I do not respect your English.

      • walt723

        I see what you did there. lol

  • Kid Kara

    We were the freest in asia till the cybercrime law took effect. But now we are not!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4R3GZTGML26TV2VGS6RVHP2THM Fred

    We would like to invite/request Freedom House to make
    another survey today to see where the Philippines will rank.

    Do you think we will be in the company of Iran, Cuba and China?

  • edgardo oreta


  • Peter Dave Gan

    hahaha is inquirer conditioning the mind of the public in blindly accepting the cyber whatever law?

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