Bloggers file petition against Cybercrime law

MANILA, Philippines - Bloggers asked the Supreme Court on October 4, Thursday, to stop the government from implementing the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, a law which, they say, "curtails citizens' rights and effectively shepherds the nation to the Cyber Dark Ages."

Eighteen bloggers including Antonio Cruz (owner of tonyocruz.com), Marcelo Landicho (known as Professional Heckler online) and Marck Ronald Rimorin (owner of Marocharim Experiment named President Benigno Aquino III, the leaders of the two chambers of Congress (Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte), Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima, and the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Information and Communications Technology Office as respondents. 

They also sought the nullification of Sections 4(c)4, 5, 6, 7, 12 and 19 of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime law.

Sec 4 criminalizes online libel, while Sec 5 penalizes the abetting of commission of cybercrimes. Sections 6 and 7 include all crimes in the Revised Penal Code under the Cybercrime law and increase the corresponding penalties to one degree.

Sec 12 authorizes state agents to collect real-time traffic data, while Sec 19 grants the DOJ the power to shut down websites that contain harmful data based on prima facie evidence.

They said the above provisions encroach upon their rights to free speech and expression, due process, privacy, and violate their rights  against unreasonable search and seizure, and constitute double jeopardy.

"For the bloggers, the right to be left alone -- for the government to just let us be -- and the right of expression are important. This [Cybercrime] law creates an environment of fear," Cruz said.

Cruz later tweeted President Benigno Aquino III on his account @noynoyaquino, "Mr President, we're suing you. You've been served," and attached a soft copy of the petition.

This is the 10th petition to be filed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act. - Rappler.com