World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Black Tuesday protest over new Cyber Crime libel law

PHILIPPINES: Black Tuesday protest over new Cyber Crime libel law


MANILA (The PCIJ Blog/Pacific Media Watch): Media organisations and netizens in the Philippines marked the 28th anniversary of the EDSA "People Power" Revolt this week with a Black Tuesday campaign to protest the Cyber Libel provision of Republic Act 10175 - or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The Supreme Court last week declared the Cyber Libel provision of R.A. 10175 as constitutional, effectively expanding the coverage of the country’s 80-year-old libel law into the digital domain.

Media and online groups have protested against the ruling, saying the decision reverses what already appeared to be a libertarian trend in the courts in the interpretation of libel laws.

Libel is defined in Article 323 of the Revised Penal Code as a criminal offence, punishable with both a prison term and damages. Media and lawyers groups have been pushing for the decriminalisation of libel, saying the law has been used to harass and intimidate the Philippine press.

In addition, the Philippines is unique in that an allegedly libelous statement is presumed to be malicious until proven otherwise by the accused. This implies that the accused is already presumed to be guilty until he proves himself innocent before the courts.

Exactly a week ago on Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of R.A. 10175s cyber libel provision, which recognises that libel can be committed online, but only by the original authors and producers of the material.

Not included in the crime of cyber libel are those who receive or respond to the material.

At the same time the Tribunal struck down several provisions of the law as unconstitutional, particularly the “take-down” clause which would have allowed the government to deny or restrict access to digital hardware and material even without a warrant, and the real-time collection of traffic data.

The decision came exactly a week before the nation commemorates the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt, when press freedom was restored in the country.

Media organisations have pointed out that the Cybercrime Act and the SC ruling on the law effectively reverses many of the freedoms gained in EDSA by unduly restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the press even in the internet.

To mark this day, online groups and media organisations including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, have declared February 25 as Black Tuesday.

The groups are launching this noon an online protest to ask the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling on cyber libel, and to press legislators to amend the libel provisions in Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Iraq: Grave Crimes Committed On 'Unimaginable Scale'

Members of an ethnic Yezidi family sleep in the shade in Shekhadi village, Iraq, after fleeing Sinjar. Photo: UNHCR/N. Colt More>>

Lesotho: Concern About Reported Military Takeover In Lesotho

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern on Sunday about the reported military takeover in the southern African nation of Lesotho, and called on all parties to resolve their differences peacefully. More>>

ALSO:

Ban Ki Moon:Alarmed At Israel's Announced Seizure Of West Bank Land

1 September 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his alarm at the announcement by Israeli authorities to declare nearly 1,000 acres of land in Bethlehem as so-called “state land.” More>>

Ebola:Response Based On ‘Scientific Evidence, Not On Fear'

Ebola Response Must Be Based on ‘Scientific Evidence, Not on Fear,’ Urge Top UN Officials More>>


UNHCR: More Than 300 Die In Boat Tragedies On Mediterranean

The past few days have been the deadliest this year for people making irregular crossings on the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe More>>

UN: Egyptian Crossing Used To Bring Food Aid To Gaza
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) successfully crossed from Egypt into the Gaza Strip today, carrying enough food to feed around 150,000 people for five days More>>

ALSO:

Extended Cease Fire: Gaza Celebrates!!!!

Images and video from Gaza.Scoop - Julie Webb Pullman in Gaza. Gazans took to the streets tonight to celebrate their victory in achieving the end of hostilities and the lifting of the illegal seven-year siege. Whatever tomorrow may bring, tonight was a time to rejoice! More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news