Lawmakers support amendments to anti-cybercrime law
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers are now scrambling to amend the Cybercrime Prevention Act, but warned the public against hacking government websites and spewing foul comments on social media to protest the measure.
Representatives Angelo Palmones and Ben Evardone said on Wednesday they were surprised to later learn about the libel provision apparently inserted by senators during the period of amendments.
But Palmones said over-the-top comments—especially hacking of crucial government websites—did not necessary serve the cause of those protesting the passage of Republic Act No. 10175.
“These would only justify the existence of those harsh provisions in the law,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone. “It’s like we’re showing that we are uncivilized and an uncivilized society would require an iron-fist (rule).”
Evardone, vice chairman of the House committee on information and communications technology, said hacking was an “overreaction and was misguided.” He urged protesters to go to the “proper channels” such as the courts and Congress to air their complaint.
He expressed optimism that many of these concerns could be addressed by the implementing rules and regulations now being prepared on RA 10175.
Palmones said his Agham party-list group has been drafting a bill seeking to amend the law, particularly the provision that would impose higher penalty on libel if committed online.
He also rejected the “take down” provision authorizing the Department of Justice to block access to computer data.
“My fear is that the harsh penalties were designed to clip media,” he said.
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