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Philippines' Cybercrime Law Makes SOPA Look Reasonable

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the setting-the-bar-low dept.

Censorship 103

silentbrad writes with this report from Forbes: "The dark days of SOPA and PIPA are behind the U.S., at least temporarily, as copyright tycoons reground and restrategize, attempting to come up with measures that don't cause the entire internet to shut down in protest. But one country has already moved ahead with similar legislation. The government of the Philippines has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which on the surface, as usual, sounds perfectly well-intentioned. But when you read the actual contents of what's been deemed 'cybercrime,' SOPA's proposed censorship sounds downright lax by comparison. Yes, there's the usual hacking, cracking, identity theft and spamming, which most of us can agree should be illegal. But there's also cybersex, pornography, file-sharing (SOPA's main target), and the most controversial provision, online libel." At least it doesn't mention blasphemy.

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And now... (5, Funny)

cyrano.mac (916276) | more than 2 years ago | (#41550799)

Will the USA extradite?

Re:And now... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41553691)

No, in a few years they'll talk about how we're "falling behind" all these other countries that we've pushed into creating laws like this.

Knowing that Americans have been able (barely) to stand up to this, they've instead made our politicians lobby other countries to force them to do that. Well, maybe "force" isn't quite the right word, after all, the politicians can use that as a convenient excuse to do whatever they like and deflect blame, but the effect is the same. So they come up with stupid piracy watch-lists and hate on, say, Canada, hoping to get other countries to create silly laws to support their business.

waaa?! (-1, Offtopic)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#41550827)

holy shit! pass the eye bleach.

What would it take to cut the Philippines off? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41550833)

I mean, seriously, cut the telecom lines that run to/from the Philippines so they have "Philippine-net" and not Internet. Let them see what a fully censored internet looks like.

Re:What would it take to cut the Philippines off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41552049)

Then no one would answer your support calls [manilatimes.net] anymore. L0L.

Re:What would it take to cut the Philippines off? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 2 years ago | (#41557209)

Nah, they'd just move the call centres to India.

Re:What would it take to cut the Philippines off? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41553659)

Consider for a moment how much of their economy comes from girls having cybersex...

Not so good (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41550875)

The Philippines don't look so good as a place to locate a data haven anymore.

Re:Not so good (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551145)

It's the usual sensationalism. The BBC published an article with a similar headline the other day, except more than anything the cybersex the BBC was referring to was not really cybersex as people classically know it - in other words, this story seems to stem from the fact the BBC reporter got a little confused about everything.

No, the law in question states that the type of online sex that is banned is that which is for profit or other similar gain. The reason for the law is because the Philippines has a major problem with children being forced into online sex shows and so forth.

That means it's got fuck all to do with two people typing or camming intimitately to each other in a private capacity. It's entirely about commercial for-profit shows.

This isn't to defend the law, but to add a bit of clarity to the discussion. When looked at in context it's no worse than for example, the UK's digital economy act and similar that have outlawed cartoon porn, and home made BDSM/rape fantasy shit even when distributed in a not-for profit manner.

Re:Not so good (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551447)

You cannot ban all commercial sex online because some ass***s force children to do commercial sex shows. If you wanted to ban that you would just ban children doing sex shows. Now the whole industry has to go underground, and then there is no reason not to continue the children shows.

Re:Not so good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41553713)

In fact...

I've found it's not assholes forcing it but children desperate enough to do it sometimes even of their own volition as it's the only way to improve their future.

I once stumbled upon one, and rather than partake in what was clearly child pornography opted instead to talk to her and find out why she is doing this.

Turns out this girl was literally doing it because her parents couldn't afford to send her to school, she was doing it to pay for school (just like you hear of college girls in the US).

As I already sponsor one child there with an agency it didn't seem too much bother to send her $50/month on the condition she shows me all her school reports. Turns out she's a bright kit, she not only graduated high school with top marks but got herself a scholarship to college and is now studying compsci.

Think about it folks, $50 a month, what does it buy you? it could buy a child a whole new world. (I'd also suggest sending every man woman and child in poor areas a lifetime supply of condoms because they have a tendency to birth more than they can care for)

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41556365)

More often in the Philippines the parents force her to do it to support daddy's tuba habit. Some of these nyucks quit their job (if they have one) the day they hear their daughter has a foreigner.

Re:Not so good (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41556311)

The problem is this isn't like Europe where it's just the odd child being abused here and there amongst hundreds of adults doing it of their own free will.

This is a country where the problem has reached epidemic proportions, where the issue exists in the majority of cases and that's why they've had to take such extreme action on it.

Your argument works fine when you're talking about a handful of people ruining it for hundreds, but that's not the case in the Philippines.

Also, it was "underground" anyway because it was never legal to use children in these shows, the difference is now that law enforcement agencies have been granted more effective legal instruments to actually pursue these cases more effectively and to actually shut them down.

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551571)

That's really idiotic. They're going to ban it all because some child might be forced into doing it? They don't care about freedoms at all; they'll just make up any excuse to take away the rights of the majority (in this case, the excuse is that children are in danger).

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551941)

While I agree- we shouldn't be taking away the rights of minorities either. Just because we don't agree with a particular minority doesn't give us justification. Blacks, gays, and others don't deserve persecution just because I don't think they are up to gods law.

Re:Not so good (1)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552681)

Although I agree that minorities should be protected from abuse, it is much better to have the majority oppressing minorities than the other way around.

Re:Not so good (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41557415)

Yes, the problem in this particular case is that the majority of Philippino cam girls are underage, it's a major problem there.

That's why other comments in this thread don't apply, they're applying Western standards where a few people run the livelihoods of many. In this case it's about ruining the livelihoods of a handful to protect the many - that's the fundamental issue here, it's not the small scale problem it is in the West which is what some people seem to think with their rather ethnocentric world view.

Re:Not so good (2)

gstewart (453924) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552167)

A bigger issue (but not more abhorrent), in the Phils, than the children forced into online sex shows, is the voluntary and legal-aged, for-profit, cybersex houses. There are far more cebersex houses in the Phils employing legal individuals than there are forcing children into these practices. There is a larger issue with respect to sex tourism and child sex/pornography trade, yes.

The Phils is an extremely Catholic country, with some Victorian-era cultural expectations. The cybersex trade has provided a lot of individuals (not just women) the ability to make very good money very easily in a country with an exceeding percentage of poverty.

Strip clubs are illegal throughout the country, but depending on gets paid off, determines whether or not they are overlooked.

Noynoy Aquino is doing a lot to abolish corruption and get general crimes under control, but has the Church to deal with while implementing some of these laws (for instance, the Phils is still unable to get free distribution of condoms for those who need but can't afford them into effect due to the intervention of the Church).

There is also a huge growth of non-sexual cyber crime in the Phils, especially with identity theft and sales scams. Unfortunately, credit cards and fraud protection are not wide-spread, so people are more often required to provide bank information as a means of making payments (unless a customer can convince the seller to ship via LBC and have LBC accept and handle the payment upon delivery, which I'm not sure is an available service-I haven't asked at LBC).

Many people rely on the bank receipt as payment for money transferred as proof of payment, which is unreliable and rarely offers protection to the consumer.

But, this is also not to defend the law, but to help in clarification.

Re:Not so good (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552771)

Paid cam-girls are classic. If children are under the power of evil people, shutting down legal businesses that can be inspected won't help, the kids will just have to earn on the streets. Sensational headline would read: Philippine Cyber Puritanism Promotes Preteen Prostitution

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41553307)

The Philippines are ultra Catholic. So I am not surprised.

Re:Not so good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#41553327)

'Cybersex' is a media-driven term with no clear definition. It means whatever a writer needs it to mean.

'Sexting' is just as bad.

Re:Not so good (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41557431)

No, historically cybersex always meant two people chatting to each other by something like IRC or IM in a sexual manner.

You may be right that the media has hijacked the term and misused it because they didn't understand it, but it's definition was historically always pretty clear. See here for the original definition:

http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/cybersex?showCookiePolicy=true [collinsdictionary.com]

And even without the sensationalism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41553385)

...SOPA would still look unreasonable, no matter how unreasonable other laws may be.

Re:Not so good (1)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | more than 2 years ago | (#41553399)

i think the main problem with it is the 'libel' aspect...

Re:Not so good (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | more than 2 years ago | (#41554987)

So girls being forced into anything, slavery actually, is not banned? Why the need for a new law?

Re:Not so good (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41557445)

So that they can take the sites themselves offline, and hence remove the revenue stream incentive for the criminals driving this.

This is nothing unusual, every Western country already takes sites that profit from paedophilia offline where they can with similar laws.

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41555137)

The problem is the wording on the cybersex prohibition. Favor or gain. Gain is pretty much what you said, but favor could be something as simple as offering your wife a backrub if she'll talk dirty to you. Do that online and it's a criminal act.

The libel section isn't actually as bad as it looks, as it simply clarifies that the existing libel laws apply to online communications. The bad part is the libel laws that already existed prior to this new law, which make the truth of a statement no defense against a libel charge. I find it a bit odd that going by the letter of the libel laws, it would be impossible for a prosecutor to bring charges in court against anyone, without committing libel.

I didn't see anything in the actual law that would outlaw torrents or file sharing per se. The new law makes it a crime to access a computer system, service or file without authorization or legal right. Is that a bad thing? Substitute the words house or car or wallet for computer system. Does it still sound like an assault on liberty? Hardly.

Re:Not so good (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#41555161)

It's the usual sensationalism. The BBC published an article with a similar headline the other day, except more than anything the cybersex the BBC was referring to was not really cybersex as people classically know it - in other words, this story seems to stem from the fact the BBC reporter got a little confused about everything.

For those familiar with the Philippines this is pretty standard... it aslo wont make one jot of difference.

The Philippine government has a secret love/open hate with the sex "industry" in the Phils. They, as good Christians are reviled and repulsed by the idea of consensual paid sex between adults, however they love the money it brings into the country.

But the kicker about the Phils government is that it's corrupt as all buggery so what's "illegal" by the letter of the law goes on in open view thanks to the letters P, E, S and O. Put simply, you can pay to get out of almost any kind of trouble as long as you haven't pissed off anyone important (pissing off Filipino's in the Philippines is a bad idea in general, there are shitloads of guns in that country and life is cheap).

The law is there to target "cam girl" operators. Basically people set up a bunch of girls with webcams and charge customers to *ahem* talk to the girls. I'm assuming you're familiar with the concept even though most wont engage in it (including myself, why pay a cam girl when you can, well, hire a real one).

NOTE: anyone planning travel to the Phils, dont let me put you off. The sex trade is not that open and is pretty restricted to red light districts, it's a lot more subdued than Thailand or Amsterdam. There are lots of nice places to visit where there isn't a red light district like Puerto Princesa or Davao. Even Cebu City is fine and Filipinos are generally very friendly, accepting and helpful (I.E. you have to be a really special kind of arsehole to get shot as a tourist).

Re:Not so good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551349)

Here's a good critique to that http://opinion.inquirer.net/37894/not-very-virtual-crime

Problem Solved (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41550937)

Now that all of these bad things are illegal, nobody will ever do it again.

Slashdot:SOPA Looks Reasonable! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41550979)

One might like an "almost".

Testing grounds (0, Flamebait)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#41550981)

Japan, The Philippines, etc... are testing grounds for the global MAFIAA. That's where they drop their legal bombs and observe how far they can take the general populace. Should they succeed there, they'll implement the same laws elsewhere.

Re:Testing grounds (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551157)

Cultural differences

If you put a sign up in the USA that says "Stay off the Grass" there are going to be people that will challenge that no matter how much or little sense it makes, Japan and the Philippines not so much.

Ah the Philippines (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41550999)

Porn is a bit of a cottage industry in the Philippines. Whether its women in Kananga trying to get married to foreigners for a few years until they leave after they have their "visa", camgirls, bargirls, gogo girls, they'll sell what they have. Endemic poverty combined with a national inability to root out corruption has made the Philippines the brothel of asia.

This law is probably aimed at the spate of "foreigners" who have been arrested lately for running camgirl shops in the hinterlands (ie they forgot or didn't know they had to pay off the authorities first), but everyone else has tacked on their own rider of course.

Truth be told I haven't much pity for them though. They are a fervently Catholic nation, despite being struck by massive natural disasters on an almost quarterly basis and living in "hammering tin cans into roofing material" poverty, so they hang by their own hypocrisy. Where is your god now.

Re:Ah the Philippines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551045)

Assuming their assumptions are true then they'd be sending more millions into heaven than say the more atheistic but low reproducing and low death rate countries.

Based on the ones I've met they do seem a fairly cheerful bunch.

Re:Ah the Philippines (1)

stillpixel (1575443) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551061)

Yep, a country that is so Catholic that prayers are broadcast in malls and yet people still have superstitions about witches and curses... Yes the Philippines is definitely a very backward country where you can spend $20 to have your way with a 'spinner' while watching people walk to mass outside your window...

Re:Ah the Philippines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41554087)

Speaking of catholic. . . . we're coming up to xmas season. . Which of course means to get prepared and protect yourself against an increased frequency of armed hold-ups, mugging and pick-pocketing events. You see, people (desperately poor people) are stealing from each other so that they'll have some Christmas presents to give their loved ones. . . For a mostly lawless place, we do have some funny laws.

Re:Ah the Philippines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41556071)

Yep, a country that is so Catholic that prayers are broadcast in malls and yet people still have superstitions about witches and curses...

You seem to be implying that being catholic means you don't have to be superstitious and believe in witches and curses. Don't you know the bible is full of those? It also has burning bushes, talking donkeys, a man walking on water and, my most favorite superpower, turning water into wine with a prayer (anybody who can do this will have an eternal worshiper in me).

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551011)

Both are plain bad. Just because one is far worst than the other, it doesn't make the latter look better, much less reasonable.

Cybersex? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551013)

So this is also an attempt to enforce morality?

Wow, the Philippines is sounding pretty regressive.

Yes, just like the 18 year limit in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551235)

However, unlike the USA, where this 18 requirement is exported to countries that have a lower age of consent for this sort of thing, it is only controlling Philipino morality.

See also internet gambling laws in the USA.

Re:Cybersex? (3, Interesting)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551397)

The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world where the Catholic Church has a dominant voice in politics, so laws attempting to enforce morality are a fairly common thing. For example, it's one of the only countries in the world where divorce is illegal. As a result, many couples today either don't get married in the first place, or else are in a long term live-in relationship with someone while still being married to someone else.

Cybersex in the Philippines was already legally considered to be a form of prostitution before this law was passed. Now it would appear that the punishment for getting naked on a webcam will be harsher than that for having actual sex for pay, which will only serve to drive women away from the relatively safe jobs involving cybersex and into the more dangerous work of actual prostitution.

Just how much more severe is the punishment for cybersex? The fine for prostitution is 200 to 2,000 pesos. The fine for cybersex is 200,000 to 1,000,000 pesos. Average annual family income in the Philippines is 206,000 pesos as of 2009.

Re:Cybersex? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#41555211)

The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world where the Catholic Church has a dominant voice in politics, so laws attempting to enforce morality are a fairly common thing. For example, it's one of the only countries in the world where divorce is illegal. As a result, many couples today either don't get married in the first place, or else are in a long term live-in relationship with someone while still being married to someone else.

This is true for the government, but not for the people. Filipinos are like most other SE Asians (including Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims) where they are quite devoutly religious but not fanatical like in the ME or bible belts of the west. So Filipinos believe quite deeply in god, but are not insecure in their religion at all. They wont try to force it on you at all. The same is true for other people in SE Asia like Indonesian Muslims or Khmer Buddhists (well, minus the god part for Buddhists). However, I wont talk about religion with a Filipino, whilst not insecure, they are quite adamant in their beliefs.

The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world where the Catholic Church has a dominant voice in politics, so laws attempting to enforce morality are a fairly common thing. For example, it's one of the only countries in the world where divorce is illegal. As a result, many couples today either don't get married in the first place, or else are in a long term live-in relationship with someone while still being married to someone else.

Cybersex in the Philippines was already legally considered to be a form of prostitution before this law was passed. Now it would appear that the punishment for getting naked on a webcam will be harsher than that for having actual sex for pay, which will only serve to drive women away from the relatively safe jobs involving cybersex and into the more dangerous work of actual prostitution.

Just how much more severe is the punishment for cybersex? The fine for prostitution is 200 to 2,000 pesos. The fine for cybersex is 200,000 to 1,000,000 pesos. Average annual family income in the Philippines is 206,000 pesos as of 2009.

Well to show how powerful the Filipino government is, there is quite a bit of prostitution going on in the Phils, even in Manila. The cops are all paid to look the other way. That's the real reason this thread is really making a mountain out of a molehill. The cops are for sale, the mayor is for sale, hell even the president is for sale. It's just a question of how many Peso. Laws like this make it look like Manila is "Doing Something(TM)" but drive for 1 hour down the Norther Luzon Expressway out of Manila, the law is ignored by the local govt and plod... Just like the laws on prostitution.

Re:Cybersex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41556101)

The cops are for sale, the mayor is for sale, hell even the president is for sale.

The last president was (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo), or more specifically, her husband was for sale. But the current one,
I don't think so. He is known for being incorruptible. But the people he surrounds himself with, that's a different story.
Although, all in all, the Philippines is in a much better hands than in the previous administration.

Stop repeating the MPAA's propaganda (1, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551019)

Don't be a mouthpiece for the "lull people into a false sense of security" department of the MPAA, even in passing. SOPA and PIPA are merely letters for a conspiracy that hasn't for a moment stopped trying to kill freedom of speech online.

They're behind this law in the Philippines, and they're at this very moment buying politicians to get SOPA and PIPA passed again as different letters.

Don't even reference their lies in passing. They are out to screw us all over.

Re:Stop repeating the MPAA's propaganda (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551905)

SLASHDOT, FOR FUCKS SAKE HOW IS THIS INFORMATIVE? There's no information here. Do you have proof? Any?

Re:Stop repeating the MPAA's propaganda (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41553379)

Informative/insightful/interesting are all used pretty redundantly, and have been for quite some time, but yeah, they should probably be combined.

Proof? That the MPAA has not decided to accept their fate? Have decided to stop pushing legislation to make every website out there liable to huge fines for users posting copyrighted material to them, severely limiting what we will be allowed to express online and likely making many valuable websites untenable? Are not involved in the worldwide conspiracy with ACTA to implement severe restrictions in order to prevent anyone from seeing a movie for free?

No, I don't have any specific proof. I think that they've earned the burden of the proof that they're -not- doing the things I described rather than vice versa.

Re:Stop repeating the MPAA's propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551977)

The politicians are already bought and paid for. They're just working out the details of getting it passed.

hacking, cracking (5, Insightful)

cockroach2 (117475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551025)

I'm not sure that "most of us can agree [that these] should be illegal". Trying to outlaw that is usually accompanied by banning essential security tools like nmap, wireshark etc., tools that some of us actually need for "peaceful" purposes.

you're an idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551429)

with out both you'd not have any computer sitting in front a you....

ingrates
i think what HUMANS can agree on is that people like you ought to be stuffed in the backs a trunks and taken "for a ride outside town"

Re:hacking, cracking (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551759)

I don't agree either, because these provisions are usually more about what you are allowed to do with what you've bought than they are about hacking other people's systems.

Breaking DRM should be legal and applauded, not criminalised.

can't we all just agree, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551027)

That it doesn't matterif your country is; a democracy, republic, parlamentary monarchy, monarchy, dictatorship, or theocracy.
No one in power has ever liked the free flow of information, nor the good but not perfect ability to be aynonomus that the internet provides. And all of them if they could would shut it down?

Re:can't we all just agree, (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551117)

The difference is that if you're a (proper) democracy there might be a way to make a referendum. This tends to make politicians behave a little less like complete douchebags and sort-of forces them to take the people's opinion into consideration even after the elections.

But then, of course they'll just be "protecting" you, the country and the children from all those horrible thing on the interwebs so maybe it really doesn't make much of a difference.

Title is a nice use of Overton window (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551077)

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Overton_window

US politicians are now practicing the phrase "This bill has more privacy protection than the Philippines...".

Libel is controversial? (1, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551111)

Can someone justify why the "libel" section is the most controversial?

I really can't understand how anyone would want to protect peoples right to lie about others and destroy their reputation.

Re:Libel is controversial? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551195)

Probably because it depends on who is deciding what is libel and what is not. Most likely it will be misused by rich people being accused of corruption getting their accusers into jail because 'nothing has been proven'.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551265)

Probably because it depends on who is deciding what is libel and what is not. Most likely it will be misused by rich people being accused of corruption getting their accusers into jail because 'nothing has been proven'.

Writing "I believe Obama was born in Kenya because blah" instead of "Obama was born in Kenya" is a pretty easy way to avoid such risk, and if everyone did so, life would improve.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41553625)

Or you can just accept that everything on the internet is just some troll's opinion, and does not pass the "reasonable man test" for libel.

Re:Libel is controversial? (4, Insightful)

junior.kun (987391) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551231)

Truth is in the eye of the beholder. What is means is that if I attack someone's politics, they can throw me in jail by saying its libel. Have you never heard of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say "

Re:Libel is controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551327)

Heard of Wikileaks?

Chilling effect (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | more than 2 years ago | (#41554525)

I don't know about libel suits against the traditonal media, which have their own legal teams. "Online" libel produces the same chilling effect as the mass legal action that targets online "copyright" violators. It turns the legal system into a class action suit in reverse. One party is able to sue dozens or even thousands of others.

The idea isn't to "See you in court, honey" but to threaten enough people into submission. After all how many Joe orJane Blows can afford the services of a good lawyer? Or maybe Joe is happily middle-class, but can he afford the hassle of attending a hearing when he's not a corporate hydra but just one person who can only take so many days off from his job before he's fired?

Re:Libel is controversial? (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551287)

Because liars aren't the problem. The believers are. A leader is never the problem. The followers always are. In every instance that you want to attack speech, you are all making the same mistake of not going after the listener instead. Case closed.

Re:Libel is controversial? (2)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551465)

Because liars aren't the problem. The believers are. A leader is never the problem. The followers always are. In every instance that you want to attack speech, you are all making the same mistake of not going after the listener instead. Case closed.

Have you ever had vindictive people actively trying to destroy your relationships and your reputation with lies? I have, in both the professional and personal realms of life, and I'm still suffering the consequences of people I don't even know thinking they know me when they don't. What would you suggest is the appropriate response?

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551637)

Have you ever had vindictive people actively trying to destroy your relationships and your reputation with lies?

Who is really destroying your relationships? The credulous believers.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551639)

I'll throw it right back at you.. How do YOU react when somebody 'libels' another person, or tries to 'destroy' their reputation? If you believe the liar, and, say, deny the 'libeled' person a loan if you're a banker, or treat him any different than you normally would, I would say that you are the problem, not the guy telling the lies. Verification before acting is your obligation. If I found out you acted against a person because you believed a lie, I would work to have you punished. You leave the speaker alone and go after the listeners. It is that simple.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551675)

I'll throw it right back at you.. How do YOU react when somebody 'libels' another person, or tries to 'destroy' their reputation? If you believe the liar, and, say, deny the 'libeled' person a loan if you're a banker, or treat him any different than you normally would, I would say that you are the problem, not the guy telling the lies. Verification before acting is your obligation. If I found out you acted against a person because you believed a lie, I would work to have you punished. You leave the speaker alone and go after the listeners. It is that simple.

Frank honesty?

I react with violence against the person who lied to me.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551691)

Well, when I can...

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551853)

Well, there ya go... You would be the person to lock up.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

Zagnar (722415) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552179)

So lying for the express purpose of causing harm to someone is okay? I can agree that those who actually cause the harm by believing the lie are ignorant and foolish but the liar played some part, even if that part was pure intent, I would expect punishment for both parties.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552293)

Nope, free will, and all that. All you have to do is turn your back, or, if you prefer, you can make up lies about your tormentor. But you have no right to physically obstruct his speech in any way, except maybe over the decibel level. Those who actually act in bad faith are the only guilty party.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41556553)

Nope, free will, and all that. All you have to do is turn your back, or, if you prefer, you can make up lies about your tormentor. But you have no right to physically obstruct his speech in any way, except maybe over the decibel level. Those who actually act in bad faith are the only guilty party.

Well, not according to these laws :)

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41556563)

You must be good at doublethink to take a position like that with a sig like yours.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41557529)

Only if you use some bizarre logic I'm not aware of. Feel free to spell it out. Authority is corrupt, a forbidden fruit. It invariably leads to perversion of character. The laws of nature are indisputable...

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

Tibore Escalante (993235) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551367)

Simply put, they're worried about putting the power of determining what truth is in the government's hands. That's what's got the National Union of Journalists in that country up in arms.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

Anonymice (1400397) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551479)

Libel laws are frequently used by people & organisations to silence criticism. Regardless of the strength of your defence the legal costs can be prohibitive, so many people cave to the pressure.

There was, for example, a well known case here in the UK where the British Chiropractic Association tried to sue Simon Singh after he wrote an article pointing out how many of the claims made by the practitioners are a crock of shit.
He won the case, but he had to sell his house to back the costs.

You might think that modern chiropractors restrict themselves to treating back problems, but in fact they still possess some quite wacky ideas. The fundamentalists argue that they can cure anything. And even the more moderate chiropractors have ideas above their station. The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.

See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCA_v._Singh [wikipedia.org]

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551485)

I would tell you why that's a bad idea, but someone might say I was lying about the Philippine government and have me imprisoned for it.

There are some people who believe that a government should pass no laws abridging the freedom of speech or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. It's not just a passing fancy that they had, it's a response to having lived with the alternative.

Re:Libel is controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551517)

The current libel law in the Philippines criminalizes libel EVEN IF IT IS TRUE. As long as you're speaking in bad faith against that person, true or imaginary, it is considered libel. This endangers journalists, and basically anyone else attempting to speak out against other people.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

silentbrad (1488951) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551797)

I didn't want to have an enormous summary, so I didn't flesh that out. FTA:

Now, as someone who has been the target of many a vicious attack from commenters or forum posters, I can understand frustration with the nature of online anonymous criticism. But to actually try to make such a thing illegal? You wade into dangerous waters that anything resembling freedom of speech will likely drown in. And that’s overlooking the free speech implications trampled by banning pornography and file-sharing as well, two provisions getting less attention due to the severity of the libel section.

Via CBS, a senator who opposed the bill explains its potential ramifications:

“If you click ‘like,’ you can be sued, and if you share, you can also be sued,” said Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, one of the lawmakers who voted against the passage of the law.

“Even Mark Zuckerberg can be charged with cyber-libel,” the senator said.

The provision, according to Guingona, is so broad and vague that it’s not even clear who should be liable for a given statement online. And if you’re found guilty, get ready to spend up to 12 years in prison.

Guingona poses the question, who exactly is libel for the libel? Is it the person who made the statements? Anyone who reblogged or retweeted them? The website on which the comments were made? Anyone who commented in assent or even clicked ‘like’? The way the law is worded, the Filipino police could actually charge you with simply criticizing them or the government in a way they deem “malicious,” a word very much open to interpretation.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551953)

I'm not from the Philipines... is Truth an ironclad defense against libel there? Is demonstrable falsehood necessary to establish a conviction?

Libel means different things in different places... but, if statements of opinion are protected, demonstrable truth is an ironclad defense and demonstrable falsehood of statements presented as fact lead to a conviction, then there's no issue that I can see.

I've seen quite a lot in the news these days about "anti-bullying" legislation. Anti-bullying legislation that doesn't allow demonstration of truth to be an ironclad defense seems functionally identical to the worst possible interpretation of libel in the worst possible jurisdiction...

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552177)

Truth is not an ironclad defense against being arrested and bankrupting yourself trying to prove the truth when the opponent has far more resources then you, anywhere.

That is the danger of these laws, a state where dissent is a dangerous proposition.

Re:Libel is controversial? (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | more than 2 years ago | (#41553413)

This from one of my Filipino friends...evidently the libel law could be used to prosecute someone who is critical of their local Mayor, for example, and posts something negative about it in Facebook. It could even be extended to prosecute anyone that posts comments in support of it, or shares it or even "Likes" it. So while most people are in agreement about the cybersex parts of the law, the libel clause is worrisome. The Philippine Constitution was crafted to be much like the American Constitution so there is a clause guaranteeing freedom of speech. Many are claiming that this new law is therefore unconstitutional. Someone will challenge it I'm certain.

The problem is that in the Philippines the courts have been known to be corrupt, like every other facet of society there. Justice is served only to those that can afford it. This law echos the days of Marcos when journalists were routinely thrown in jail without a trial or any legal representation if they dared utter anything negative about the government. Despite the best efforts of the current president, corruption is still rife. The societal structure is much like Mexico where you have a handful of wealthy families that own vast amounts of land and are active in politics, ensuring that laws are passed to keep the lower classes exactly where they are while continuing to build their massive fortunes.

Re:Libel is controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41556131)

Because it can be used to harass other people. Let's say a blogger
writes something about a certain senator. Even if the senator has no
chances of winning (libel is difficult to prove), he can still hire the best
lawyers in town, while the blogger has to scrounge the lawyers fee from
his/her meager resources.

So, given a choice whether to take down your blog or to slog it out with a
senator who has an abyss for a pocket, some people will just take down
their blog.

In other words, because of this online libel thing, ANY blogger can be taken
down by any rich person, without the usual protection that any HUGE media gives
their media practitioners.

Re:Libel is controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41561399)

Can someone justify why the "libel" section is the most controversial?

I really can't understand how anyone would want to protect peoples right to lie about others and destroy their reputation.

That would be a true statement in the U.S. but not in the Philippines. Under U.S. law, the fact that a statement is true is an absolute shield against a libel charge. But in the Philippines, truth is no shield at all. In fact, by claiming your statement was true, you would effectively be pleading no contest to a libel charge.

In the Philippines, if a statement causes any kind of personal, financial, legal or social damage to an individual, it is illegal. The law doesn't care about truth or lies, only damage. By the letter of the law, it would be impossible to convict someone of any crime without committing libel against them, that's how ridiculous the libel laws are there.

That said, all that the libel section of the new cybercrime law does it clarify case law into statute The libel law doesn't specify where the illegal speech occurs, only that it is a crime if it damages someone. The new cybercrime law clarifies that yes, the libel law that applies to all damaging speech applies to online damaging speech too.

Online libel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551141)

Wut? So if I put the diss on a philipino I'll be arrested or slapped with a fine if I go there on vacation? On the other hand if I don't go there, I can insult philipinos all I want, and they wont be allowed to retaliate?

RELEASE THE TROLLS!

NOOOOOO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551163)

Now I wont be able to see sexy Philippine sex shows on Imlive.com

My world has come to an end!!!!

Philippines has long history of dictatorship (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551181)

This law is a first step in setting up a new dictatorship. A dictator must be able to control what people can talk about and this legislation will give an evil president the tools to enslave her people.

Re:Philippines has long history of dictatorship (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551311)

Yeah, with this tool in place, the Marcos family would still be running the country as their fiefdom.

Filipinos are protesting this. (5, Informative)

Tibore Escalante (993235) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551189)

Before anyone overreacts, keep in mind that this is being challenged. Multiple petitioners have filed against it: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276301/scitech/technology/petitioners-seek-tro-vs-cybercrime-prevention-act [gmanetwork.com] http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/news/top-stories/32459-more-petitions-vs-cybercrime-law-filed [manilatimes.net] ).

Also, the country's journalism community was part of that filing: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/breaking-news/2012/10/03/journalists-rights-center-file-opposition-cybercrime-law-246154 [sunstar.com.ph]

Some legislators have voiced concerns about it: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2012/10/03/davao-lawyers-want-cybercrime-law-reviewed-246097 [sunstar.com.ph] http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2012/10/02/cebuano-legislators-back-calls-amend-cybercrime-law-245887 [sunstar.com.ph]

And if they're on the ball, the nation's version of the ACLU - the Civil Liberties Union of the Philippines - will be weighing in soon. The point is that this is not a done deal yet. There's no question that it's an ugly blow, but very few citizens trust the Filipino government with sweeping powers. The only question is what the protesters/challengers endurance is in fighting it.

Re:Filipinos are protesting this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41551747)

Yes. We are protesting this!!! For some behind-the-scene inputs [raissarobles.com] . And Also [www.spot.ph] .

It's become a circus and a lot of us have protested [facebook.com] , The sotto memes [google.com] are too funny . But they're TRUE. LOL

Never again. Thanks also to TPB for their support !!!

  --- from a Martial Law Baby AC \m/

Anti-troll legislation (3, Funny)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551197)

First they came for the trolls...

Re:Anti-troll legislation (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#41556541)

...and then there was more trolling.

Please don't speak for me. (4, Interesting)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#41551449)

Yes, there's the usual hacking, cracking, identity theft and spamming, which most of us can agree should be illegal.

I can't agree on that at all, and especially with overly-broad terms like "hacking" (or even "spamming"). What is "spamming"? Is that any UCE or is that just penis enlargement pills? Because there's lots and lots and LOTS of perfectly legitimate commercial e-mail that one person would consider spam and another person doesn't.

Hacking? What is hacking? Security research? Breaking into systems? What about altering systems that I own to do things they weren't intended to do?

You don't speak for me, Forbes, so your blatant editorializing is not appreciated.

Blasphemy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41552487)

would be covered tacitly as making libelous statements questioning the existence or relevance or holiness of the Pope, Jesus, God, Allah or Mohammet or any other non-sauce-bearing beings.

Blatant Talent Scouting! (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#41552497)

What a blatant attempt to fill up their roster of dancers [youtube.com] .

No it doesn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41552645)

Genocide doesn't make murder seem reasonable.

External Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41552855)

Well if they don't like it, they could always move to New York City and work on a independent horror film.

A one-size-fits-all law like SOPA/ACTA (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | more than 2 years ago | (#41554763)

Like SOPA and ACTA, this Orwellian-sounding Cybercrime "Prevention" Act is an omnibus law, a law that regulates many activities that have little in relation to each other. An omnibus law is the easiest way for someone to sneak in some really bad prohibitions among the few good ones.

This is no different from enacting a law that has provisions both for riots and street demonstrations that merely disrupt traffic. To gain support, a proponent of such a law will focus on the anti-riot portion of the law, while playing down the fact that it can also be used on people who are merely holding a demonstration without a permit, which has been held up by red tape.

Does the law have good parts? I'm sure it does. It'll surely save some of the children, even if it damns quite a few adults to jail.

A side effect of having an omnibus law is that it forces the oppositors to focus merely on the worst parts. So maybe the "online" libel part is the worst because it affects the most number of clueless Facebook users? But what about the provisions on online surveillance? Never mind that, let's get rid of the "libel" part first, then we can think about the online spying, which can be used against those dangerous "terrorists" anyway. One small step for freedom, one giant leap for Big Brother.

Not Well Thought Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41554825)

Ang mga opisyal ng gobyerno ng pilipinas ay laging may koraps`yon pwedi mong bayaran ang mga kasalanan mo ng pera,akala ko si pangulong Aquino ay maasahan s`ya pagdating ng ganitong problema....

The government officials are corrupt, you can buy yourself out of trouble. I thought Aquino would be better, then this crap comes up.

I am an American, I just violated your law, come get me and violate my constitutional rights.

Yes I am posting AC.

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