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Tag: Netizens
Netizens Reject Cybercrime Act (October 17 2012) Netizens Reject Cybercrime Act (October 17 2012)

Kara Santos the Filipino writer and photographer published an article on IPS News titled ‘Filipino Netizens Reject Cybercrime Act’ claiming “A newly enacted cybercrime law in the Philippines has raised fears that not only online media but also ordinary netizens could be persecuted for exercising their freedom of expression”. Santos states “Media groups have expressed concern that the law poses a threat to press freedom and limits freedom of expression in the country. Bloggers and social media practitioners also point out that the new law allows the government to shut down websites without due process, and makes Internet users liable for simply clicking the ‘like’ button on Facebook or re-tweeting something on Twitter. …the law also broadens the coverage of libel as a content-related offense that can be committed by just about anybody using a computer. …Many Filipinos are disturbed by the fact that the man allegedly responsible for this last-minute change, which lumps online libel with cybersex and child pornography, is notorious for plagiarising blogs, and recently elicited a spate of criticism from active netizens. …investigative journalist and blogger Raissa Robles claims that Senator Vicente Sotto III pushed for the insertion into the law at the eleventh hour “Historically, in the Philippines, it is the rich and the powerful who use libel as a weapon to suppress criticisms about them. Before the Internet came along, it was easier for the rich and the powerful to control criticisms. All they needed to do was buy a stake in newspapers, TV and radio. Or sue them. Now they have realised that the Web is beyond their control.”


Inspired by IPS News image source Facebook

Jillian C. York the US Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has released an article on Aljazeera discussing what she claims to be “hysterics” surrounding the recent announcement by Twitter of its changes to the way it handles content takedowns. York states “Suddenly, netizens were calling for a Twitter boycott… and proclaiming the death of the platform… on Twitter, of course. While a Twitter boycott is unlikely to have any real effect… and yelling about the death of Twitter on Twitter is just, well, humorous… What the company had announced was that they’d built in the capability to censor content per country. And to do so only in response to official requests, though you wouldn’t know that was the case from the hysterics. …The truth is, Twitter has indeed instituted a method whereby they can – upon receipt of a “valid and applicable legal request” – take down tweets. The company also states that they will only respond “reactively”; in other words, to content that has already been posted. There is a safety feature built in: Users can change their location if they think the one Twitter has listed based on their IP address is wrong.”


Inspired by Jillian C York image source

Rebecca MacKinnon the US journalist blogger and co-founder of Global Voices Online, and former researcher for the George Soros funded Open Society Institute, believes the issues she raised in calling on internet users to “take back the Net” have “grown more obvious and urgent”. MacKinnon in a recent TEDTalk presentation highlighted that global information technology companies have become the new “sovereigns of cyberspace.” MacKinnon calls on the world’s Netizens to “…work to make sure that the Internet, the geopolitical system, and the international economy evolve in a way that serves everybody’s rights and interests, not just those of the most powerful one percent … The time has come to occupy the Net. Existing political and legal frameworks have so far proven incapable of preventing and constraining the abuse of digital power … political innovations [are] needed to ensure that government and technology really do serve the world’s people — and not the other way around.”


Inspired by Huffington Post image source Joi Ito

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