MCPIF: FactSheet

SBN3327 Screencap

A fact sheet on the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom.

THE MAGNA CARTA FOR PHILIPPINE INTERNET FREEDOM (MCPIF) is the first legislation drafted through online crowdsourcing. Spurred by the realization that representative democracy cannot always address that needs of the community, the drafters of the MCPIF came together to craft legislation for the Internet that would reflect the experience and aspirations of Filipino netizens.



The MCPIF has four key principles:

1. Rights. Civil and political rights enshrined in the Constitution should be recognized and promoted in cyberspace.

2. Governance. Information and communications technology should be harnessed to improve governance and empower citizens.

3. Development. Information and communications technology is a powerful driver of the national economy.

4. Security. The country should prepare for the security challenges of the future without violating Constitutional rights of citizens.


I. The MCPIF strives to preserve, promote, and protect civil and political rights.

“Your rights offline are your rights online.” This, in a nutshell, is the underlying principle behind the Magna Carta for Internet Freedom.


The MCPIF seeks to promote and protect in cyberspace the civil and political rights of every citizen enshrined in the Constitution. Under the MCPIF, every netizen’s freedom of speech and expression over the Internet is protected. Thus, netizens are empowered to:

1. Use the Internet to petition the government for redress of grievances;

2. Publish material on or upload information on the Internet;

3. View any kind of content on the Internet without censorship or restriction.

The MCPIF on Libel.

There is no Internet libel if there is no malice or intent to injure. Internet libel must explicitly and positively identify the person who is the subject of the expression.

Under the MCPIF, there is no internet libel in the following instances:

1. Protest against the government and public officials.

2. Criticism of politicians and candidates.

3. Criticisms of NGOs, associations, religious groups.

4. Criticism of companies for bad service is not libel.

5. Guerilla marketing is not libel.

6. Criticism via DM or PM though later made public by someone else is not libel.



1. Copyright protection of any content published over the Internet. Under MCPIF, codes, computer programs, and software applications now also enjoy copyright protection.

2. Authors can specify that their content be governed by a copyleft or or a free license.

3. Non-attribution or plagiarism of content, regardless of license elected by author, constitutes an infringement of intellectual property rights.


1. The right to access or develop new information and communications technologies shall not be denied without due process of law.

2. An inventor/developer of a new ICT technology shall not be penalized in case other users misuse or abuse the technologies he has developed.


1. No one can access your private information without your knowledge.

2. Service providers, telcos, and other companies cannot submit your private information without your knowledge and without a court order, issued after due notice and hearing.

3. No unilateral takedown provision.

4. Unauthorized disclosure of any private data transmitted through the Internet or public networks is penalized.


II. The MCPIF seeks to improve governance, promotes the development of ICT, and prepares the country for the security challenges of the future.


The Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Official Gazette may establish a website for government public information. This will promote citizen engagement and transparency in governance. See the UK’s


1. It mandates the DICT and NEDA to draft a program for investment opportunities in ICT technology and infrastructure.

2. Those who invest in information and communications technology shall enjoy tax incentives.


1. The MCPIF mandates the country’s preparedness for cyberdefense and cybersecurity.

2. The police and the military’s capability to detect, prevent, and respond to cyberterrorism, especially on PH Gov and private sector critical infrastructure, is strengthened.

3. Cyberterrorist attacks on critical infrastructure shall be subject to a penalty one degree higher because of the extent of damage it may inflict.


1. The MCPIF provides penalties for offenses such as network sabotage, hacking, cracking, phishing, piracy, cybersquatting, fraud, hate speech.

2. The MCPIF also provides penalties for prostitution and child prostitution, trafficking in persons, child pornography, child abuse committed via the Internet and ICT devices.

PH needs MCPIF: Why?

1. ICT and the Internet are part of our daily lives. Philippine critical infrastructure is controlled, maintained, and accessed using ICT and Internet networks and these must be protected.

An estimated 30 million Filipinos are internet users, with over 90% of the population mobile phone subscribers.

The country’s critical infrastructure—government, utilities, communications, banking and finance, mass media, among others—have facilities that are controlled, maintained, and accessed using ICT and Internet networks.

The rise of cyber attacks against critical infrastructure highlights the need to secure our critical infrastructure from similar attacks.

With the MCPIF, cyber security becomes an integral part of the country’s defense program.

2. Government must harness ICT and Internet technologies to engage citizens effectively and provide services efficiently.

Best examples of the power of ICT and the Internet are times of national emergencies.

This also works the other way: Government is informed of security threats even before these are reported via official government channels.

Experience shows that ICT and the Internet translates to better governance and more empowered citizens.

Through the MCPIF, we will have a systematic and more programmed development of ICT and the Internet in all levels of government.

3. ICT and the Internet are drivers for Philippine economic growth.

A 2009 World Bank study says that for every ten percentage point increase in high-speed Internet connections, there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points.

A 2012 report by the Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office says that BPO and ITO industries (aka knowledge worker industries)—all dependent on fast and reliable ICT—contributed USD 11B in export revenues, or an estimated 5.4% of the PH GDP in 2011.

National Statistics Coordinating Board analysts determined that growth of ICT- and Internet-dependent knowledge worker industries promoted salary scales—ranging from PHP 10,000 to PHP 100,000 for knowledge workers in 2006.


MCPIF vs. RA 10175

1. The MCPIF ensures that the right to freedom of expression is protected in cyberspace; RA 10175 does not.

RA 10175 constrains speech and expression on the Internet. The MCPIF upholds freedom of expression by defining the exceptions to libel in step with existing Philippine jurisprudence.

The dangerous “takedown” clause of RA 10175, where the government may have a website or network blocked or restricted without due process of law, does not exist in the MCPIF. Instead, the MCPIF provides for due process of law and specifically prohibits censorship of content without a court order.

2. The MCPIF ensures the right to privacy and protects against illegal search and seizure in cyberspace. RA 10175 violates those rights.

RA 10175 allows the warrantless real-time collection of traffic data. 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.

3. The MCPIF ensures that no person accused of a cybercrime will be subject to double jeopardy. RA 10175 allows double jeopardy.

RA 10175 allows prosecution of offenses committed against its provisions and offenses committed against the Revised Penal Code and special laws; never mind that the offenses are from a single act. Section 40 of the MCPIF protects against double jeopardy.

4. RA 10175 treats the use of ICT or the Internet as an aggravating circumstance. The MCPIF does not.

Just because the offender used the internet, RA10175 penalizes him one degree higher. Under the MCPIF, the fair penalty is imposed.

5. The MCPIF provides a framework for Filipinos to thrive using the Internet; RA 10175 focuses on crimes without promoting Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and ignoring the need for Filipino ICT development.


Official PDF on Scribd:


Pierre Tito Galla

  • Jeg ,

    HI Jester, Cocoy et al. If I may, it should be the guiding principle of the Magna Carta for it to be a declaration and protection of the rights of internet users, that is, its emphasis is the protection of rights of users of so-called intellectual property and not the protection of the rights of patent holders, copyright holders, or holders of any other state-granted monopoly rights. The holders of these monopoly rights are already adequately protected by our laws. The Magna Carta should be for the rights of, say, Apple users, instead of the rights of Apple corporation. The Magna Carta should be for the right of Jane Citizen to create fan-fiction of her favorite Twilight characters and not for the rights of Stephanie Meyer whose copyrights are amply protected. This is in keeping with the original Magna Carta.

    • GabbyD ,

      why different treatment? isnt copyright, of any kind and by anyone, state granted monopoly rights?

    • Jeg ,

      Hi Jester. First of all, excellent job. This:

      “3. Non-attribution or plagiarism of content, regardless of license elected by author, constitutes an infringement of intellectual property rights.”

      Does this mean that the proposed law criminalizes plagiarism? That is, it will treat non-attribution as copyright violations? We have to be careful with this. Plagiarism is an ethical breach best dealt with by the community and not the courts. Ideas should spread, attributed or not. They belong to the community since no ideas spring unaided by other ideas. Non-attribution or claiming the ideas as one’s own is dickery but not a crime unless used to obtain other people’s property (like for example when I submit a piece to a publisher and get paid for it — an instance of fraud).

      Let us be careful with this and any other section of the proposed law that deals with so-called intellectual property.

      • Democracy.Net.PH ,

        • Jeg ,

          Thanks, Democracy.Net.PH.

          I see this as well:
          “A.4. Subject to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, it shall be
          16 unlawful for any person to reverse-engineer any whole or part of any computer program,
          17 software, code, or script, whether or not executable, that is the subject of a copyright, and
          18 that he does not have any propeliy rights over, or does not acknowledge and comply with
          19 the terms of copyright or license governing the intellectual property rights enjoyed by the
          20 computer program being reverse-engineered.”

          Again I ask the drafters of this proposed law to be careful in including provisions like this wherein even the act of reverse-engineering is deemed unlawful. This constitutes a violation of one’s rights to do what he wills to his own property. To illustrate: Suppose I buy a gadget and an idea to improve the performance of the gadget comes to me from using it. I then open the gadget up to see its hardware and software, a gadget I have paid for, to see what’s inside and how it works so that I may find out how to improve upon it, and granting some patent issues and license are ironed out, who knows? maybe even sell my new improved machine. According to Section 29, A4, I may not do so, Worse, I will be liable to copyright infringement by the mere act of reverse-engineering This section IMO is inimical to the spread and progress of new ideas. It is best stricken or reworded to not infringe upon an owner’s right to his property.

        • UPnnGrd ,

          Does the MCPIF ignore with “wink-wink”…. or will there be a section to penalize those people ( like Conrado de Quiros) who actively encourage people to make bootlegs of software or movies where the authors make obscenely kopong-kopong profits? J-Lo and Eminem, Microsoft or Adobe, Pixar or Sony…. obscene profits, so what’s wrong with kopya-kopya, deQuiros would ask.

        • UPnnGrd ,

          The MCPIF verbage about “3. View any kind of content on the Internet without censorship or restriction. should also be viewed with caution, in fact, this is contrary to Pilipinas culture where those who have more erudition, sophistication and who have been blessed with better access to KNOWLEDGE and THEOLOGY have the responsibility to be gatekeepers to data.

          Gobyerno officials have already pointed out the need for some regulation of Youtube. Gobyerno officials have already pointed as example those trashy junk produced by “PinoyMonkeyPride Productions” which can make some of Pilipinas youth question… well… question history.

          • UPnnGrd ,

            This MCPIF verbage about “No one should access your information without your knowledge.” is obviously in opposition to President Noy noy’s position. And in fact, President Noynoy has already signed into law that Malakanyang can listen to any device that can do internet message or e-mail.

            I suppose that there will be 2 or 3 more items in the items written by the authors of MCPIF that will position the authors against the wishes of the Pilipinas civil society who support of President Noynoy’s “DAANG MATUWID” including Malakanyang,in order to save the Republic …… Malakanyang has Police Powers and the legal right to listen to any device that can do e-mail or internet messaging.

            Presifdent Noynoy may label the MCPIF authors among “… those who are against me” and pro-GuLLOO. This may be dangerous. Word to the wise.