Cybercrime law covers text, calls, Casiño warns

PARTY LIST Rep. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) today pointed out that the Cybercrime law or Republic Act 10175 will not only curtail the right of internet users but of everyone who has a cellphone because it covers text messages and calls as well.

Based on Section 3(c) of the Cybercrime law, communication covered by the law refers to the transmission of information through ICT media, including voice, video, and other forms of data.

Section 3(d) meanwhile defines computers and computer system covered by the law as “any type of computer device including devices with data processing capabilities like mobile phones, smart phones, computer networks and other devices connected to the Internet.”

Section 6 further broadens the laws coverage to include “all crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies…”

“This practically means that communications and data on any type of phone or ICT device are covered by this very repressive law,” said Casiño.

“This means if I text my friends that a certain candidate is a ‘cheap, second-rate, trying hard copycat,’ that person can haul me to court for violating the Cybercrime Law and have me locked up for 10 years,” he said.

“True, the case may eventually be dismissed but the mere possibility that one can be charged for online libel is enough to silence ordinary people and stop them from expressing critical ideas,” Casiño added.

“This law is straight out of George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ and it seems to be a reaction of repressive governments against the almost instantaneous transmission of critical information like what happened in the so-called Arab Spring,” he added.

“Para talagang pang-Martial law ang batas na ito at binubusalan tayo sa mga gusto nating sabihin sa pamamagitan ng internet at telepono. May kinalaman kaya ito sa nalalapit na eleksyon para di mabanatan ang mga kandidato?” asked the progressive solon.

“In effect, the Cybercrime Law wants to regulate our conversations and even how we think,” Casiño said.

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