Philippines Suspends Internet Law
The Philippine Supreme Court suspended a far reaching Internet law that went into effect October 3. The law passed new restrictions on online behavior and speech in an attempt to address child pornography, identity theft and other computer related crime.
However, journalists and free speech activists protested that the libel provisions bundled into the law would curtail free speech.
Via ABC Radio Australia:
However one provision that metes out heavy jail terms for online libel, tougher than for defamation in the traditional media, has caused an uproar.
Equally controversial is a provision that allows the government to shut down websites and monitor online activities, such as video conversations and instant messaging, without a court order.
Human rights groups, media organisations and netizens have voiced their outrage at the law, with some saying it echoes the curbs on freedoms imposed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
Philippine social media has been alight with protests, while hackers have attacked government websites and petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court calling for it to overturn the law.
Note that the law has been suspended, not struck down. This gives the government time to amend it.
Image: A protester in Manila rallies against a cyber-crime law in front of the Supreme Court building. By Noel Celis, AFP/Getty Images via the Los Angeles Times.