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Philippine Cybercrime Law Put On Indefinite Hold 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the knowing-better-than-canada dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court of the Philippines has put an indefinite hold on a controversial law that would, among other things, ban cybersex and porn. A host of groups, particularly journalists, had resoundingly criticized the law, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, as broad and out of touch with how the Internet works. The Philippines' National Union of Journalists, for example, called its definition of libel 'a threat not only against the media and other communicators but anyone in the general public who has access to a computer and the Internet.'"
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Philippine Cybercrime Law Put On Indefinite Hold

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @05:08PM (#42875353) Journal

    We have 'zero proof' that building legal and technical mechanisms suitable for the suppression of a given flavor of content leads to the use of those mechanisms being used for the suppression of other flavors, sometimes including your 'actual speech' category? Srsly?

    Mission creep is a well known phenomenon, and it's both easily historically observable that people's descriptions of political and social commentary they don't like frequently ends up tinged with the same vocabulary of condemnation as that used for porn('that's obscene' actually means that that includes some sordid fucking surprisingly infrequently).

    On the architectural side, technical and legal mechanisms for efficient content takedowns are virtually content-agnostic. Blacklists, wordlist filters, DMCA takedown forms, any of those can be trivially re-targeted just by dropping some new parameters in to the configuration.

    Lest this be dismissed as theoretical, observe the Russian experiment [economist.com].

    As for the babble about 'meaning' and 'the sacred', I'm just going to have to admit complete bafflement about what you are talking about.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @05:12PM (#42875383) Journal

    Two people doing it in front of a camera is no more "art" than me sitting at my computer typing ... in front of a camera is "art". We need to redefine what "art" is in the age of ubiquitous cameras.

    I can see it now, the Sherrif's officers who beat Rodney King ... "Performance Art" ... because it was done on camera!

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @05:34PM (#42875591) Homepage

    Ahhh .... I'll know it when I see it [wikipedia.org].

    Fortunately, case law has established the criteria for what can't qualify:

    The Miller case established what came to be known as the Miller Standard, which clearly articulated that three criteria must be met for a work to be legitimately subject to state regulations. The Court recognized the inherent risk in legislating what constitutes obscenity, and necessarily limited the scope of the criteria. The criteria were:
    1) The average person, applying local community standards, looking at the work in its entirety, appeals to the prurient interest.
    2) The work must describe or depict, in an obviously offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions.
    3) The work as a whole must lack "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific values".

    So you'd need to prove that those two people doing it in front of a camera is all of the above, and some of those are very subjective.

    The problem with deciding one kind of 'speech' is free and one isn't is sooner or later someone comes to arrest you for suggesting that Geroge Bush resembled a monkey [about.com].

    You can't be for free speech but then decide there's parts of it you wish would go away -- I defend the right of someone to take a shit on a sheet and call it art. I don't get it, and I'm not interested in it, but I'm not going to appoint myself or anybody else to be the arbiter of what we should and shouldn't say. And you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad, or you're setting yourself up for a situation in which one group or another gets to define 'art', 'obscene', and things you're allowed to say.

    Which is why the loons from Westboro Church are still around.

  • what is art? (Score:4, Informative)

    by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @06:35PM (#42876095)
    re: is no more "art" than me sitting at my computer typing ...
    .
    counter-evidence: Andy Warhol and his "movies":
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol_filmography [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Factory#Films
  • Re:Too bad (Score:3, Informative)

    by It's the tripnaut! (687402) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @06:47PM (#42876193) Homepage
    Anyway, this Bill, however bad it may be; would have helped put a stop to this.


    At the cost of putting a stop to free speech. Under this law, every negative comment online (e.g. twitter, facebook) can be loosely interpreted as slander by an aggrieved party.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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