Monday, May 19, 2014

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Law

07 May 2014

Lecturer: Mr. Marlon Anthony R. Tonson, Esq.

ICT in the Modern Age

“Thought will spread across the world with the rapidity of light; instantly conceived; instantly written; and instantly understood at the extremities of the earth -- it will spread from pole to pole. Sudden, instant, burning with the fervor of soul which made it burst forth, it will be the reign of human soul in all its plenitude. It will not have time to ripen -- to accumulate in a book; the book will arrive too late. The only book possible from today is the newspaper.” -Alphonse de Lamartine (from his letter to the editor of the Revue Europeane in 1831)

*Alphonse de Lamartine is a French poet and politician.

ICT evolution, ICT revolution

* Egypt - pressing grapes, wine-making
* Technology: wine press
* Guttenberg - used another technology called press (as prints, pages)
* Examples: [Philippines] Propaganda Movement, La Solidaridad, Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo
* Spanish-American War - Yellow Journalism
* ICT during this time is the printing press.

*First Philippine Libel Case

* Dean Conant Worcester (setup PGH, avid bird watcher) vs. Renacimiento Filipino, which wrote “Aves de Rapina” (‘Birds of Prey’)
* Worcester won over the publisher and the writer because of being the Secretary of Interior

*US vs. Bustos (8 March 1918)

The interest of society and the maintenance good goverment demand a full discussion of public affairs. Complete liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is a scalpel in the case of free speech -- the sharp incision of its probe relieves the absences of officialdom. Men in public life may suffer under a hostile and unjust accusation; the wound can be assuaged with the balm of a clear conscience.

*A public officer must not be too thin-skinned.
*Criticism does not authorize defamation.
*Public opinion should be the constant source of liberty and democracy.

ICT and EDSA Revolutions

* Role of ICT in EDSA I: Radio for mass action
* Role of ICT in EDSA II: Cellphones, MRT, TV

Anti-Wiretapping Law (RA 4200)

ICT and Social Media Mob

Anti-Video Voyeurism Act (Republic Act 9995)

Constitution protects ICT

1. State recognizes vital role of communication and information in nation building. Article II. Sec. 24.
2. The state provides the policy environment for the full development of Filipino capability … and the emergence of communication structures … balanced flow of information … freedom of speech and of the press. Article XVI. Section 10.
3. No law abridging … freedom of speech, expression, press … Article III. Section 4.
4. Privacy of communication. Article III. Section 3 (1).
5. Right to be secure … papers .. against unreasonable searches. Article III. Section 2.

Cybercrime Prevention Act (Republic Act 10175)
* Struck down: Section 19, because it stifles freedom of expression and violates the right against unreasonable searches and seizures.
* Struck down as violative of right to privacy; Section 12, empowering law enforcement agencies.
* Section 19 empowers the Department of Justice to restrict or block access to computer data when the data is prima facie found to be violation …

RA 10175, Section 3 (Definition of Terms)

* Cyber. Computer/network/online communication
* Computer Data. Representation of facts, information …
* Computer system. Any device with data communication

Offenses against confidentiality, integrity, and availability of computer data and systems (RA 10175 Section 4)

* Illegal access
* Illegal interception
* Data interference
* System interference
* Device misuse

Content related offense (RA 10175 Section 4)

* Cybersex
* Child pornography
* Unsolicited commercial communications
* Libel


Associate Justice Leonen: “It seems that, we as a society, are being thrown back to the dark ages.”

“The cybersex provisions stifles speech, aggravates inequalities between genders and will only succeed to encrust the views of the powerful.”

Better Laws to fight cyber prostitution
1. Anti-human Trafficking Act (RA 9208)
2. Anti-child Pornography Act (RA 9775)
3. Anti-video Voyeurism Act (RA)

*In these laws, victims are not treated as criminals.

* only the original author of the post is criminally liable for cyber libel
* Punishments: Penalty to be imposed shall be one degree higher than that provided

Data Privacy Act (Republic Act 10173)
* Patterned on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive of 1995 and “Safe Harbor” regime of the USA
* “Writ of Habeas Data” - developed by Supreme Court
* Patterned on the Latin American Writs

Personal Information is any information about the identity of people
Sensitive Personal Information requires more stringent requirements
* Political Affiliation
* Race
* Ethnic origin
* Marital status
* Age
* Sexual life
* Health information
* Criminal record
* Social security numbers
* Tax returns

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