Friday, October 5, 2012

Cyber Martial Law in the Philippines

An office worker browses an on-line pharmacy in Manila.(AFP Photo / Jay Directo)

Source: Global Research
Access Now – Stop Cyber Martial Law

Tens of millions of internet users in the Philippines woke up Wednesday to a new reality: Sharing a link, clicking ‘Like’ on Facebook, or retweeting a message could land you 12 years in jail.¹

Russia Today - Philippines Internet Gag Law

The Cybercrime Prevention Act, which just came into effect, is so broad and loophole-ridden that a wide range of online activity could be considered libelous. Even if you don’t write the material, just sharing it with someone online could land you in prison.

In the face of this unjust law, Filipinos have been protesting in the streets and online to stand up for their rights. An alliance of organizations, bloggers, media, and everyday citizens have come together and brought international attention to their cause, and have reached a tipping point.²

That’s why they have come to us for help. With elections just around the corner, we’ve been told that many politicians are downright scared of a national and international backlash, giving us the opportunity to convince them to junk this law for good. And we know there’s nothing like an election to get politicians to listen.

Click the link below to call on lawmakers to stand up for freedom of expression, and repeal the CyberCrime Prevention Act. We’ll deliver your signatures to Filipino lawmakers next week so they know where the world stands.
Access Now - Stop Cyber Martial Law

Alarmingly, an accused citizen can’t even use intent or good faith as a defense against this horrible law — meaning that the government has unrestricted and unchecked power to throw whomever they like in jail. Not to mention, the law allows real-time data to be tracked, violating the privacy of internet users.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday is slated to take up the constitutionality of the law, and silent, non-violent protests will be held on Oct. 9 — called Black Tuesday. With broad and unjust cybercrime laws being enacted around the world, we need to fight them one by one. That’s why it’s critical that the international community stands up on Black Tuesday. Start by clicking the link below:
Access Now - Stop Cyber Martial Law

While we respect the impartiality of the court, this gives us the perfect moment to rally to protect free of expression. Indeed, many Filipinos online have begun sending around memes to show they are not afraid to stand up unjust laws that attempt to silence free speech.³

This defiant and democratic spirit has been seen before. Over 25 years ago, Filipinos fought and won to overcome martial law and institute a democratic government. But what makes this law’s passage curious is that President Aquino is the son of Corazon Aquino, former president and leader of the opposition party that restored democracy in the Philippines in 1986. So many Filipinos are left wondering why the son of the leader who fought for their rights is allowing free speech to be taken away.

With all this coming to a head, we aren’t just taking a stance against a law, but are standing up for democratic values bravely won not too long ago. Let’s remind the president just what so many Filipinos fought for. Sign the petition by clicking the link below, and join the millions of Filipinos who are fighting for their right to freely speak their mind.

Access Now - Stop Cyber Martial Law

In the words of Dakila, our ally in the Philippines, “We say, never again to martial law — cyber or not.”

For a free internet,

The Access Team


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