The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been covering the Philippines’ Cybercrime Prevention Act very closely, concerned about how the extent of its clampdown on libel will impede free speech. And now that it has been passed into law (on October 3rd), the EFF pronounces it “a dark day” for the country and its net freedom. The group explains:
In addition to criminalizing online libel, Section 19 of the Act would also allow the country’s Department of Justice to block access to “computer data” that is in violation of the Act; in other words, a website hosting criminally libelous speech could be shut down without a court order.
Activists in the Philippines say that the Act is unconstitutional, and will take their appeal to the nation’s Supreme Court. Many netizens in the Philippines are dubbing it “Cyber Martial Law” and are using the Twitter hashtag #NoToCybercrimeLaw (pictured) to raise awareness and protest it.