Cybercrime law covers text messages, says lawmaker

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Before you shoot off that text message to anyone, make sure it is not derogatory.

This, in essence, was the warning of Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño when he said that the cybercrime law, or Republic Act 10175, not only curtails the right of Internet users but also of cellphone users.

“Because it covers text messages and calls as well,” Casiño said in a statement e-mailed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The militant lawmaker said section 3c of the cybercrime law covers any medium of ICT media, including voice, video, and other forms of data.

Section 3d, he added, defines computers and computer system as “any type of computer device, including devices with data processing capabilities like mobile phones, smartphones, computer networks and other devices connected to the Internet.”

“This practically means that communications and data on any type of phone or ICT device are covered by this very repressive law,” Casiño said.

He said candidates who might try to put down an opponent via text messages, could find themselves in trouble.

“This means if I text my friends that a certain candidate is a ‘cheap, second-rate, trying-hard copycat,’ that person can haul me to court for violating the cybercrime law and have me locked up for 10 years,” Casiño said.

He said that while the case may not prosper, “the mere possibility that one can be charged for online libel is enough to silence ordinary people and stop them from expressing critical ideas.”

ICT industry players in Davao City could not agree more.

Samuel Matunog, vice president of the Davao ICT Inc., said the law can also potentially kill the bullish ICT sector.

Matunog said Section 19 of the cybercrime law, which allows the Department of Justice to shut down or block access to a computer data, if found to be violating the act, can potentially bring millions of damage to the industry.

“What if malicious pranksters will just lodge unfounded complaints? Before we know it, our computers are already blocked,” Matunog said.

He said that instead of trying to kill the industry, lawmakers should have passed a law that would help it grow more.

“We are the world’s number one texting capital, and the world’s fastest-growing site for BPOs, we need laws that will encourage creativity among the young,” Matunog said.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    ganun pati text MARTIAL LAW NA NGA 

  • justice_league03

    Section 4: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” – so the anti cybercrime law is obviously violating this section of the constitution. if that’s the case, that means the ones who approved to pass this law are impeachable?

  • http://pinoy-politics.blogspot.com Monsi Serrano

    This lawmaker doesn’t really know the law. Under E-commerce law, that text has already been included. Thus, another law to cover it cannot supersede the prior law unless it’s amended.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/63EUQQTO3ZDVMQDFQYZGUWFQ24 Bugs

       ikaw na ang mag congressman o senador dahil marunong ka sa batas.

  • http://twitter.com/pammappala pam map

    According to our Revised Penal Code:

    Art. 353. Definition of libel. — A LIBEL is PUBLIC and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition,status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.Art. 354. Requirement for PUBLICITY. — Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, EXCEPT in the following cases:
    1. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and
    2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

    Hindi ba dapat ito ang susundan ng #cybercrimelaw? Pano mapapasama ang text kung ISA lang ang recipient? Pwede ba siguro kung BROADCASTED yung ISANG TEXT na yun to MANY PEOPLE thru their cellphones…. 

    Naman…. naman….

  • John Sulayman

    Article III, Section 3 and 4 of our Constitution:

    “Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.
    (2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.”

    Section 4: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

  • koaks2

    kalokohan ‘to. if i text tito sotto is a cheap, second-rate, trying hard copycat, kakasuhan ako? 

    • airmango

      hindi siguro..since totoo naman… hehe

    • indiosbravos2002

      You are just saying the truth.

  • PurpleDaisy13

    Cyber Libel Law = Corruption Protection Insurance from all forms of electronic and digital communications.

  • http://twitter.com/riccisan Ricci Santiago

    patay, wala ng ERAP jokes :( kunsumisyon naman itong cyber ekek na ito. kasuhan niyo din yung smart, globe, tnt, at sun na madalas mag txt kahit sa madaling araw.

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