PHNetDems: Cybercrime Prevention Act not essential to fighting child porn

Statement on claims that RA 10175 is indispensable to fighting child porn and online prostitution

 

Sobriety and reason. This is what we need at a time when public opinion is being railroaded to favor the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The government has not been subtle in its approach. Senior Supt. Gilbert Sosa, director of the PNP Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and recently drafted as the principal scaremonger, has declared that the Philippines is now among the top purveyors of child pornography and online prostitution in the world. Sosa claims that without RA 10175, we are powerless in facing the onslaught of cyber smut as a cottage industry in the country. He decries that, because of the temporary injunction on RA 10175’s implementation, law enforcement has been ineffectual in bringing these cybercriminals to justice.

The facts, however, dispute his claims:

Fact: We have the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 (RA 9775), the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 (RA 9995), and the Anti Trafficking in Persons Act, (RA 9208, as amended by RA 10364) are existing and enforceable, and can and do serve as legal basis for the prosecution of those that deal in child pornography and online prostitution.

Fact: Even without RA 10175 operations versus online prostitution rings do succeed. The recent multi-country effort involving the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Philippines proves this.

Fact: Even without RA 10175, the police can, with the use of a warrant, compel telcos and other ICT service providers to handover information.

Fact: The police remain addicted to the instant gratification of procedural shortcuts, never mind if this short-circuits the basic tenets of our justice system.

Fact: RA 10175 is such a poorly-crafted law that it cannot, contrary to Sosa’s pronouncements, adequately protect the country from cybercriminals. Even worse, what is being sold as a panacea is actually more virulent than the disease as it assaults our constitutionally protected civil and political rights. We are being asked to sacrifice our due process rights in exchange for the promise of police efficiency in guarding our safety.

We fought for internet freedom a year ago when RA 10175 was passed into law. The facts obtaining then have not changed until now.

Neither should our response.

We call on the Supreme Court to declare RA 10175, in its entirety, as unconstitutional.

We call on the Congress to support the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (#MCPIF).

Editor’s note: This is a press release from Democracy.net.ph republished in its entirety.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.