Sen. Santiago files 'Cybercrime Law v2.0'

To address the perceived shortcomings of Republic Act No. 10175 (RA 10175) or the Philippine Cybercrime Law, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that she calls "Cybercrime Law version 2.0."

Senate Bill 3327 (SB 3327), also known as the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (MCPIF), aims to protect the rights and freedoms of Filipino netizens, while acting on cybercrimes.

“While it is important to crack down on criminal activities on the internet, protecting constitutional rights like free expression, privacy, and due process should hold a higher place in crafting laws,” said Santiago in a statement.

The senator also pointed out that, unlike RA 10175, the new bill specifically upholds freedom of expression online.

“The MCPIF does not suffer from overbreadth and vagueness in its provisions on libel, unlike the law it tries to replace. In fact, it treats libel as a civil liability rather than a criminal act, which is a step forward in the move to decriminalize libel,” Santiago said.

Other features of MCPIF according to Santiago's statement are:

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 mandates government agencies to provide security for the data they collect from citizens to ensure their right to privacy provides for court proceedings in cases where websites or networks are to be taken down prohibits censorship of content without a court order prohibits double jeopardy seeks to clarify the mandate and organization of the proposed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) prepares the proposed DICT, law enforcement agencies, and the military with provisions for handling cybercrimes provides amendments to the AFP Modernization Act to ensure the country has weapons and defenses against cyberattacks by terrorists, violent non-state actors, and rogue or enemy nation-states mandates the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to combat cyberterrorism

Santiago also said that her bill aims to define other crimes which can be committed online.

“We need to recognize that child pornography, child abuse, and human trafficking can be committed through the internet, as much as hacking, piracy, and copyright infringement. We must define these evils in order for us to crush them,” the senator added.

SB 3327 was created through online crowdsourcing —a process of soliciting ideas, content or services in a collaborative way, online or offline. If passed into law, this may be the first piece of legislation which is crowdsourced.

Santiago said, a group of concerned netizens went to her office with a draft of the MCPIF. The group drafted MCPIF through discussions in a Facebook group, on Twitter, via emails, and Google Hangout teleconferences. — TJD, GMA News

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