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Anti-Cyber Crime Law: Its Effect on Digital & IT BPO Industry in the Philippines

A law, to be valid, must apply to all members of the same class. Persons committing libel are similarly situated, whether using a computer system or not.” – Sen. Teofisto Guingona III

No matter how hard we try to unite everybody’s opinion with regard to the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, There will always be two sides of the story. The law signed by Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino few weeks ago gained a lot of positive and negative feedbacks among digital media practitioners, BPO professionals, internet marketing professionals in the Philippines and common Filipino “netizens” around the country.

Essentially the law seeks to castigate “cyber-crime offenses” such as spamming, identity theft, hacking, libel and online pornography. According to yahoo.com, the law is categorized into three: (1) offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems; (2) computer-related; or (3) content-related offenses.

However, some media groups are still not satisfied about the tusk of the newly implemented law that is said to prohibit their freedom of expression, particularly on the provision of online libel. In a news article published by gma network news.com, several journalist organization led by the Alab ng Mamahayag (ALAM),  said that the objectives of the Cybercrime Law were not compelling enough in terms of  freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press and the right to liberty.

On an interview with philstar.com, The Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility stressed how this law would affect internet regulations among Filipino “netizens” and their restricted mindset of the country’s leader.

On the other hand, Mr. Benedict Hernandez, Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) President said that, anti-cybercrime law is seen as a potential gauge for the progressive growth of the IT and BPO industry since the new law adds another layer of protection against theft and fraud for the industry.

At present time, the controversial law is still a “hot issue”. There are ongoing online debates, discussions and opinions about its vital role in regulating the cyber crimes here in the Philippines. As allies and critics speak out their fearless opinions about the provisions of this law, it is also a challenge for everybody to overcome too much internet use in order to malign gossip or even use it for their own selfish desires.

Now, tell me, do we really need this law or is it just a matter of practicing self-regulation armed with right moral values?

On a personal note

As an internet marketing provider, we stand firm that in order for this country to achieve success and growth, leaders and the governing laws should be all pro-masses and should not, in any way, repress the rights of every individual. Being free from these kind of anti-people laws is one single step to elevate the lives of every Filipino people, to become more productive, achieve maximum development and, as the government always reiterate, to become the citizens of the world.

How can we all fulfill these if the anti-cyber crime law continues to surround us, limiting us from things that we ought to know and do? There might be other options to circumvent crimes online, not by mere passing of suppressing and vague laws. Scrap RA 10175!