Monday, October 01, 2012

E-Libel Law: The Saga Continues

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This will be a short post, and will probably be a very opinionated one at that, so caveat emptor and all that jazz. Today is the first of October, and we have two more days to storm the Supreme Court with our prayers. There are proper avenues of complaint, and if everyone were to try to show their displeasure with the law, there’s a small chance – small, but a chance is a chance – that we can make a difference.

junk the cybercrime law

Why we should junk the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012:

  • It curtails freedom of speech greatly. At an age where humanity is striving towards better understanding and cooperation through dialogue, removing one individual’s capacity to speak freely is counter-intuitive, at the least. President Barack Obama, for all his faults, states that he will fight for the right of every man to speak his mind – even if a man’s thoughts were to speak against him. With the E-Libel law, we now know that our politicians and conglomerates cannot take criticism with a straight face, and would rather control what people have to say.
  • It cuts back on the ability to share. Let’s not think about filesharing sites like PirateBay, for a moment, and think of what the consequences of preventing copyrighted files from being hosted online could be like. Cloud-sharing files like DropBox and Google Drive could be banned by firewall because these services set no limit as to what a user can upload to their servers. Blogs with private links to files that they uploaded to the ‘net so that they can share these files with their friends (and them with theirs) will be blocked from viewership, because hosting a file online is a criminal act, under this law. In short, the law will cripple the sharing, open, and free community that the Internet has become, and turn netizens into the online version of selfish, self-conscious cavemen with no concept of free sharing.
  • It destroys the free flow of information. Let’s face it. This is what the Internet is all about: the free flow of information from source to reader. If you have a scientist publishing even remotely damaging information about, let’s say, a Pfizer tablet, the scientist would have to consider the fact that the company can choose to sue him for libel because of his findings. That’s one potentially fruitful source of information down the hatch. In one fell swoop, the human civilization is just a little bit dumber because a company felt that it had to protect itself because of the possible loss of revenue from one – just ONE – product.
  • It goes against the Bill of Rights. Free speech. Right to property. Right to education. Three basic rights cut to what the government and the corporations think is “proper” and “acceptable” just because they cannot take smaller revenues due to criticism. In a sense, this makes the law a criminal act.
  • It’s very selfish.

That said, please do yourself a favor, and follow this link, if you haven’t signed up for it yet. As they say in Filipino, “Walang manloloko kung walang magpapaloko”. A (very) rough English translation would be “Evil men exist because fools exist to follow them”.

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