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Date Submitted: 11/22/2012 08:10 PM

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Republic Act No. 10175

Republic Act No. 10175 or the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012″ which was principally authored by Senator Edgardo J. Angara, became the “talk of the town” these days, most probably among my fellow netizens. Oh, and before I go on, netizens  is defined as an entity or person actively involved in online communities and a user of the internet, especially an avid one; it’s from the words “internet” plus “citizen”.

Moving on, the title of the law is “AN ACT DEFINING CYBERCRIME, PROVIDING FOR THE PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION, SUPPRESSION AND THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” From the words of the title itself, vagueness can be perceived. It starts with the good point of prevention to imposition of penalties, yet, there’s this “for other purposes” phrase which can accommodate various interpretations to justify any future act that is expressly condemned by the Constitution (such as illegal search and seizure, etc.). The intention of the law, which is set down in its Declaration of Policy, to acknowledge the important role communication technology can play for the nation’s overall social and economic progress, connotes a good intention. However, it empowers the executive arm (Department of Justice) “to effectively prevent and combat [cyber] offenses by facilitating their detection, investigation and prosecution at both the domestic and international levels, and by providing arrangements for fast and reliable international cooperation.”

I used to join my fellow netizen in protesting against the totality of the RA 10175 without reading it from the official gazette until my curiosity gets on my nerves to look for it and read it for myself. Definitely it looks like the other laws of the land, with the same good purpose for the benefit of the public. How come that it gets so popular, unlike the other laws? Well, I guess it’s because of the “who” aspect of this law – who’s going to be affected, and surprisingly, the...

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