NBI forms unit against cybercrime
In the Senate, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said she would seek passage of a law that would be known as the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, to replace the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which penalizes online libel with hefty jail terms.
Unlike the challenged law, she said, her bill would uphold freedom of expression of Filipinos in cyberspace.
She added that her bill treated libel as a civil liability rather than a criminal act.
“While it is important to crackdown on criminal activities on the Internet, protecting constitutional rights like free expression, privacy, and due process should hold a higher place in crafting laws,” she said.
She also said that unlike the anti-cybercrime law, her bill would install guarantees against illegal searches and seizures.
“R.A. 10175 [the Cybercrime Prevention Act] violates the right to privacy and the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure through allowing the warrantless real-time collection of traffic data. In contrast, the MCPIF ensures due process by providing strict guidelines for any collection of any data, including the securing of warrants, obligating notification, and limiting seizure to data and excluding physical property,” Santiago said.
Her bill would also compel government agencies to provide security for the data they collect from citizens to ensure their right to privacy, Santiago said.
“The dangerous ‘takedown’ clause of R.A. 10175, where the government may have a website or network blocked or restricted without due process of law, is absent in the MCPIF,” Santiago added.