Vague online libel law means you could face up to 12 years in prison for a re-tweet in the Phillipines
You might want to think twice the next time you Like those Facebook pictures of your cousin's new baby or retweet something funny from your friends — especially if you live in the Philippines. According to the new Cybercrime Prevention Act, you can go to jail if you participate in cybersex, identity theft, hacking, spamming, pornography, and yes, even social media in the Philippines.
The new law, signed into effect on September 12 by President Benigno Aquino III, is vague in its explanation of what online libel even means. "Who is liable? It isn't clear. The one who made the original post? The ones who share? The ones who tweet? Even you, if you post a simple, 'hehehe,' right? Does that mean you agree?" Filipino Senator Teofisto Guingona III said.
Of course, this law has caused quite a protest among the 35 million Filipino social media users. Hackers have sent an ironic message by defacing government websites while other lawmakers are penning petitions to stop the law. Currently, there is no sign that the government intends to start a repeal.
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