Philippines Supreme Court suspends controversial cybercrime law

  • Temporary restraining order issued, first test case had just popped up
  • Justice Dept claims there are many misconceptions being floated against the law

Philippines Supreme Court suspends controversial cybercrime lawTHE Philippines Supreme Court, in an en banc session on Oct 9, voted unanimously to issue a temporary restraining order against the newly-enacted controversial Cybercrime Law.
The high court was acting on the 15 petitions filed before it questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Law. The Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), however, said it is hopeful that the law can still be fixed.
Filipinos have taken to the streets (pic) to protest the Cybercrime Law (RA 101750), while hackers, in a show of dissent, have been attacking government websites.
The decision came on the same day that the Department of Justice (DOJ) held a public forum to aid in the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Cybercrime Law. Stakeholders from the local ICT industry converged to tackle the contentious provisions of the law.
DOJ assistant secretary Geronimo Sy said during his presentation that there were many misconceptions being floated against the law, among them the so-called “takedown” provision.
“I urge the public not to use the term ‘takedown’ liberally as taking down a website needs digital forensic and analysis. This is different from restricting and blocking as provided under the law,” he said.
“Blocking access is also the least of hierarchy that we give at the DOJ,” he added.
At the forum, Sy also said a sex video of an abused Filipino woman has become the first case to be docketed under the Cybercrime Law. But, with the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court, the case will have to wait a little longer before the DOJ proceeds with its prosecution.
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