Filipinos are up in arms as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which criminalizes hacking, spamming, file-sharing, identity theft and online trafficking, has taken effect.
The last minute addition to the Cybercrime law that punishes individuals who post libelous statements and those who help propagate the latter has made netizens cry foul.
Under this new law, members of social networking accounts should be careful to post status updates, comments on posts, tweet and etc. because they can be sued for libel. Stiff penalties could be met by those found guilty including a jail time of up to 12 years and a fine of $24,000.
The lone Senator who voted against the passage of the bill, Senator Teofisto Guingona III said, ‘Suddenly, I can be punished for expressing critical thought online or allowing my Facebook friends to do the same on my own page. With this law, even Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, can be charged with cyber-libel!”
A few days before the law went into effect, a group calling themselves Anonymous Philippines has been attacking a number of government websites in their disgust..
A number of Filipino Facebook members have changed their profile photos and cover photos to a simple black image as a sign of their protest.
Image Source: technology.inquirer.net