Online libel is like imposing libel on ordinary conversations #cybercrimelaw

via Rep Teddy A. Casino

Party list Representative Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) today reiterated his opposition to the recently enacted Cybercrime Law, saying it is like imposing libel on ordinary conversations.

According to the progressive solon “Imposing libel on the internet, particularly social media like Twitter and Facebook, is like imposing libel on ordinary conversations. Libel, if it is to be applied to social media at all, should have different parameters. Problem is, dahil isiningit lang ang probisyon, hindi ito masusing napag-usapan.”

Casiño said millions of people now use social media to express their personal views on a whole range of issues and topics. “Unlike the traditional mass media, which undergoes strict editorial regulation, social media is unregulated precisely to allow ordinary people to participate in the discourse. People even ‘chat’ on the internet now. Applying the old standards of libel will not do and will only serve to stifle freedom in cyberspace,” he stressed.

“We should immediately amend this law because it will create a chilling effect not just on journalists but on ordinary people who use the internet to express their views and opinions. It opens up to infringement of the constitutional right to freedom of expression and free speech,” he added.

“I am calling on Malacanang to suspend the implementation of the Cybercrime Law until this is carefully scrutinized and amended. As it is, another provision (Section 19 of the Act) moves for the taking down of websites. It gives power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to restrict or block access to a website without court order,” the lawmaker said.

“Everybody should be vigilant about this law because this feels somewhat like the prohibitions during Martial rule, only more high tech,” said Casiño.