Martes, Mayo 6, 2014

An Outlook on Senate Bill 53

Cyber world, certainly, is paving its way to share its life amongst us. From the necessity of improving a basic calculator –the abacus, which originated from China, cyber crafts have finally embraced the world, the universe and unraveled world boundaries through the internet!
Cyberspace and Internet have created a wide range of opportunities to share information, opening up paths for every individual to group themselves, to organize for whatever purposes it may serve them.
Its fast-phased evolution and improvement should come along with fast sharp-minded individuals who will grasp its enormous power and will make sure that everything is doing just fine. When the cyber world took a nosedive, there arose a lot of crimes related to it and will rapidly increase if not guarded upon firmly and accurately as possible.
With the introduction of Senate Bill 53 or “AN ACT ESTABLISHING A MAGNA CARTA FOR PHILIPPINE INTERNET FREEDOM, CYBERCRIME PREVENTION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT, CYBERDEFENSE AND NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY” by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, which protects the rights and freedom of Filipinos in cyberspace, while defining and penalizing cybercrimes, everyJuan will have a fair chance of expressing themselves through the use of internet without a fear of imprisonment. 
If passed into law, the MCPIF will be the first law to be created through “crowdsourcing.” Crowdsourcing- is an online process of getting work done by tapping people on the Internet who volunteer their talent and skills.
          According to Senator Santiago, a group of concerned netizens—composed of software designers, IT specialists,
          academics, bloggers, engineers, lawyers, human rights advocates—approached her office with a draft of the 
         MCPIF. The group formulated the MCPIF through discussions in an open Facebook group, email, Google Hangout 
         teleconferences, and social media channels like Twitter. This means that the bill sought to be passed, did not only
         come from researchers of the government, but from netizens who have encountered or are still encountering the 
          same problems and ask that their rights be protected. 1
Reaction (s) to the Introduced Bill
“We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information.”
-Benjamin Franklin-
1. Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression on the Internet
Although section 3 of the bill provides the protection of the above mentioned right to be accorded to every Filipino Citizen, the same section also provides for certain expressions, writings, speeches or information that could be a subject of an Order which;
(a) creates a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that the state has a right or duty to prevent;
(b) is not protected expression under the standards of the community or the audience toward which the material or information is directed; and
(c) will constitute a criminal act punishable by laws enumerated in Section 5 of the same Act.2    
With this, the act should provide as well basic parameters of the above enumerated qualifications for the Filipino citizen to at least know certain limitations of the right, for them to smartly share any information to the internet without facing any possible liabilities. 

2. Promotion of the Universal Use of the Internet
This right as provided in the proposed bill under section 5, would be much more effectively achieved when almost all the Filipinos across the nation have an access to the internet in whatever means possible. The bill should have a provision for a possible country-wide access to the internet, taking into considerations as well the smallest communities in remote areas. Such that, the Local Government Units should be tasked according their citizens within their respective territories access to the internet.
The use of wireless, DSL, and cable for broadband access has become increasingly prevalent in metropolitan areas. While these technologies are being successfully utilized in terms of both service quality and economics in densely populated areas, there are still vast geographic regions where broadband services are either prohibitively expensive or simply unavailable at any price. The bill should examine several alternatives for using (WiFi) technology to provide fixed broadband access in rural areas consisting of towns, smaller remote communities, clusters of subscribers separated by large inter cluster distances, as well as widely scattered users. 
LGUs should consider the cost benefits of several emerging technologies and architectures, including high gain antennas, dynamically steerable beam forming antennas, and multihop routing. 
In addition to the above proposition, those ideas, skills, merchandises, goods unknown to the great majority from different remote areas will be effectively exposed increasing trades and incomes for different entities. Through this, the proposed bill will accomplished its objective of the universal use of the internet.

3. Educational Programs of the Proposed Bill
          Childhood is all about exploration. Through the interactive world of technology, our children are being shaped 
          by their exploration of computers and the Internet. The modern computer and the Internet offer today’s children
          a powerful device that, if used appropriately, can enhance the development of the child’s physical, cognitive, and
          social skills. Children get interested because they can make things happen with the Internet. The Internet is a po-
         werful tool that is revolutionizing our children’s learning, communication and play.3
         Teaching teens about the ethical treatment of others on the web and of websites and intellectual property (such as
         music, videos, and written materials) in cyberspace can help prevent cybercrime. While youth who commit cyber-
        crimes may realize that their actions are wrong, they may not know that their Internet behaviors are illegal.

           A U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office Task Force categorizes cybercrime in three ways:

  •           The computer as a target (using a computer to attack other computers)
  •           The computer as a weapon (using a computer to commit a crime)
  •           The computer as an accessory (using a computer to store illegal files or information)

          These categories include crimes such as launching viruses, storing illegal files (such as child pornography), committing
           fraud, infringing copyrights, and pirating software, among others.
          Many youth commit cybercrime by;

  •           Downloading and sharing copyrighted video and music files
  •          Harassing others via chat bots (computer programs designed to imitate human conversation)
  •          Hacking into school computer networks to deface websites, enter sites that the school forbids, or change grades4
The proposed bill should include a provision mandating different educational institutions to spread the knowledge of the effective use of the internet incorporated therein. The government, through the Department of Education should facilitate learning programs to teach the basics of the cyber world. Significant parts of the bill could be integrated to the student’s computer subject. In effect, minors, at their young ages will have a proper view and idea to effectively make use of the internet avoiding possible violations of the proposed bill.
The best way to prevent youth from committing cybercrimes is to educate them about ethical and legal rules of the Internet, and the emotional and financial costs of cybercrimes to victims. Moreover, cybercrimes carry real consequences. Teach youth that their actions in cyberspace are not anonymous, and that real people are affected by their crimes.

4. Education Programs for Computer Shops Business Owners
An Internet cafe provides Internet and computer access in a coffee shop or computer lab environment, charging by the hour or minute. Often serving food and drinks, Internet cafes are visited by gamers, students, professionals, and people who don't own a computer. Because the Internet provides easy access to all kinds of information, games, and media, it's the responsibility of cafe owners to reduce the harm the Internet could cause if unrestricted access is provided to all customers.
              The anonymity of Internet cafe ISPs can encourage illegal activity, including looking at child pornography
             and hacking.  Users also frequently engage in file sharing, downloading or uploading copyrighted material.
             When the identity of Internet cafe users isn't recorded, the responsibility rests with the cafe itself to restrict 
             access to illegal material or monitor online activity. In addition, the cafe must make sure to delete user material
             and information stored in the web browser's caches, to  ensure privacy is maintained between users. India has
             created guidelines for its cyber cafes that include recommending webcam  photos be taken of all users and stored
             along with records of accessed websites, mail server logs, and proxy server installations for  at least a year.5

Those planning to put up computer shops should undergone first a seminar programs relating to social responsibility, internet freedom rights and cybercrime prevention.

5. Criminal Acts 
"The bill intends to repeal the current Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012 due to the fact that some provisions of the law is claimed to be unconstitutional. On February 25 of this year, the Supreme Court declared certain provisions—including posting a link to libelous material—unconstitutiona"l6
In the past decade, advances in communications technologies and the “informatization” of society have converged as never before in human history. This has given rise to the industrialization of a type of crime where the commodity—personal information—moves far too quickly for conventional law enforcement methods to keep pace.
             In a digital age, where online communication has become the norm, internet users and governments face increased
             risks of  becoming the target of cyberattacks. As cyber criminals continue to develop and advance their techniques,
             they are also shifting their targets – focusing less on theft of financial information. To fight fast-spreading 
             cybercrime, governments must collaborate globally to develop an effective model that will control the threat.7
Our Revised Penal Code should now contain provisions penalizing cybercrimes, as to the proposed bill, it should contain a provision requiring it to be updated, repealed or amended on every given specified period to meet the changing features of every cybercrimes.

6. Globalization
         Globalization is an inevitable phenomenon in human history that's been bringing the world closer through the exchange of
         goods and products, information, knowledge and culture. But over the last few decades, the pace of this global integration
        has become much faster and more dramatic because of unprecedented advancements in technology, communications, science,
        transport and industry.While globalization is a catalyst for and a consequence of human progress, it is also a messy process
        that requires adjustment and creates significant challenges and problems. This rapid pace of change can be unsettling and most
         societies want to control or manage it".
Our legislative arm should consider an active participation in world-wide conventions. Conventions that will embark upon the issues of cybercrimes and to get away with it if not totally get rid of it. This will hasten our lawmakers’ knowledge to adapt applicable rules to regulate the fast changing cybercrimes. 

"In his inaugural address, President Benigno S. Aquino III said these words: (This is what democracy means. It is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, the Filipino stands tall once more. We are all part of a nation that can begin to dream again)”.9

The proposed bill or the Magna Carta for Internet Freedom is a timely appropriate and proper approach to our country’s current situation in regard to the World Wide Web. This proves that we are adapting rules and regulations to meet and to achieve a better, harmonius and quality living with the use of Internet. The Philippines  is being cited as a model for participative democracy, that through crowdsourcing, the collaboration and direct participation of citizens enabled by the Internet and ICT, laws can be crafted that reflect most accurately our people’s aspirations. Filipino citizen’s rights and freedom with the use of Internet would be secured if the proposed bill will be passed. 
In conclusion, the bill should consider some points as herein proposed, various improvements, prior its implementation. The passage of the bill and its possible implementation shows that the Philippines is on its way to a more advance, technology-based country, not allowing itself to be left behind by some other countries.
This is surely a very good progress for each and every Filipino citizen whose majority are inclined to the use of Internet.

            “A proposed bill creates no right and imposes no duty legally enforceable by the Court. A proposed bill, having no legal effect, violates no constitutional right or duty.”
                                                            -Montesclaros vs COMELEC GR No. 152295
1."After the RH Law: Magna Carta for Internet Freedom is Miriam's New Pet Bill"
    Senate of the Philippines 16th Congress       
    Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014
2. Par. c, section 4, Senate Bill 53

3. “Positive Effects of Internet Usage on Child Development”
    Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

4. “Teaching Youth Cyber Ethics”
    Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

5. “About the Social Responsibility of Internet Cafes Businesses”
    ( › Computers‎)
    Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

6. Carlson, Kimberly and York, Jillian. Electronic Frontier Foundation. 3 April 2014. 
    “Philippines: Inching towards Censorship”   
        Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

7. “Cybercrime a Growing Challenge for Governments”
   Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

8. “Globalization”
Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

9. “Why there should be a Magna Carta for Philippine Internet”
    Last Retrieved: May 6, 2014

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