Philippines: Libs Lead Anti-Spy Law Win

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/10/09/controversial-cybercrime-prevention-act-suspended-by-philippines-court/

In past articles posted at LIO Facebook legislators and activists cited Libertarian concerns for rights.

…The fact that the law has been suspended by the court is absolutely a win for the millions in opposition, though it’s not the final answer for them. The law needs to be struck down by the court, and it’s unclear whether it could just be the libel provision to go, or if other controversial aspects would be banished as well. The ban on (adult) pornography and file-sharing is an assault on free speech in a different form, after all.

It’s interesting to see this happening in the Philippines, as I could easily imagine a similar scenario unfolding if SOPA had somehow managed to pass in the US. It would have likely been contested for years, and inevitably made its way to our own Supreme Court. The fact that the idea actually made it into law in the Philippines shows an even greater disconnect between that nation’s citizens and the politicians who claim to represent them. The fact that one man can insert a provision into a law banning one of the essential tenants of free speech, the right to protest the government, says a lot about the legislature if there were enough empty suits nodding their heads to go along with such an inane idea.

Once again, laws like these aren’t about safeguarding the public, they’re about controlling them. Just because a nation is a democracy, that doesn’t mean it can’t slowly shift into a more oppressive form of government. Laws like these, should they be allowed to stand, are the first step in such a downward trend. If a Facebook post critical of the government can get you arrested, it’s scary to think what the next step past that would be.

It’s been heartening to see the Filipino community rise up against this injustice the way they have. My post last week was flooded with comments expressing rage and disappointment in their leaders, comments which under the new law may very well have made them criminals.

Hopefully the court will see the folly of this law, and the Cybercrime Prevention Act will become as distant a memory as SOPA is here. But there will always be a next battle, a next fight, as the struggle for control over the general population is endless, and very well-funded.

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