“With freedom comes responsibility.” This was the rationale proffered by Philippine president Benigno Aquino’s office following his September 12 authorization of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The new law, which took effect at midnight on October 3, establishes a legal framework to identify, investigate, and punish crimes committed through online and computer platforms.
The act attempts to grapple with a range of increasingly widespread cybercrime issues in the Philippines, such hacking, identity theft, online piracy, and child pornography.
Unfortunately, the Cybercrime Prevention Act "infringes upon constitutionally-protected freedom of expression, and reverses the country’s movement toward furthering freedom of the press."
The law’s greatest overreach is in its criminalization of online libel..It also classifies pornography, cybersex, and file-sharing as cybercrimes, and authorizes the Department of Justice to monitor and shut down websites without a court-ordered warrant.