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Miriam’s next fight: Repeal Anti-Cybercrime Law

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Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (photo courtesy of www.en.wikipedia.org)

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (photo courtesy of www.en.wikipedia.org)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is ready to fight anew this 16th Congress.

In a statement, Santiago said her new bill, if passed into law, will repeal the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which was earlier halted by the Supreme Court.

“R.A. 10175 confines the Philippines to 20th century capabilities in this 21st century information society. Clearly, laws that have an impact on cyberspace must address the realities of the present and the challenges of the future,” she said.

Santiago said she will push for the passage of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, which will be her pet bill in this Congress.

“While it is important to crackdown on criminal activities on the internet, protecting constitutional rights like free expression, privacy, and due process should hold a higher place in crafting laws,” she said.

She said the Internet freedom bill upholds free speech in the online world, unlike the law that criminalizes anew libel.

Nonetheless, her bill defines and penalizes cybercrimes.
If passed into law, the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom will be the first law to be created through “crowdsourcing.”

Crowdsourcing is an online process of getting work done by tapping people on the Internet who volunteer their talent and skills.

According to Santiago, a group of concerned netizens—composed of software designers, IT specialists, academics, bloggers, engineers, lawyers, human rights advocates—approached her office with a draft of the magna carta. The group formulated the magna carta through discussions in an open Facebook group, email, Google Hangout teleconferences, and social media channels like Twitter.

“I call on all our young people to voice their support for this bill through social media. You are our new opinion-leaders. After the RH Bill, we saw how powerful social media can be in advancing our causes,” Santiago said. (MNS)

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