Anti-Cyber Crime Law–Nothing else new about Libel except the use of Computer

I have read several negative feedback about “libel” in the new anti-cyber crime law–RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) which was signed into law recently by President Aquino. But as i go over with the provisions of the new law, there’s nothing new about libel except the addition of the use of computer in the commission of libel.

RA 10175 adds the “committed through a computer system” phrase in the “Means of Libel” (original provision of Art. 355 of the Revised Penal Code below).

Art. 355. Libel means by writings or similar means. — A libel 
committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, 
engraving,radio, phonograph, painting,theatrical exhibition,
cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be 
punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium 
periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both,
in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the 
offended party.

Long before the RA 10175 was passed, some cyber legal experts had already opined that libel committed online is already included in the libel law provisions of the Revised Penal Code. In one of his interviews, Atty. Jose Jesus “JJ” Disini Jr., a cyber law expert said many had mistakenly thought that defamation on Facebook is not covered by our libel laws. The phrase–“or any similar means” in Art. 355 of the RPC encompasses writing and posting defamatory statements on Facebook and in any online pages and sites.

In my Media Laws and Ethics class at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu City i’d lined up the legal basis of libel on Facebook and warned my students on the implications of what they’ve been writing on their FB wall. Here’s an excerpt of my lessons which i also posted on this blog years ago:

Some writers in the online community have already expressed their apprehension that the new anti-cyber crime law shall be used to harass bloggers and online writers. Again, even without RA 10175 online libel is already covered by the existing libel law. However, some judges opined that the “similar means” should be clearly defined to include libel committed on television, radio broadcast and in online sites to avoid subjecting it to several interpretations.

In the case of RA 10175 it only includes the “committed through a computer system” as one of the means of libel while the phrase “similar means” is retained. (Below is item 4 under (c) Content-related offenses of Chapter II Punishable Acts of RA 10175.)

(4) Libel. – The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as
defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as 
amended committed through a computer system or any other
similar means which may be devised in the future.

CONCLUSION

In my opinion, the issue on harassment against the online community is no longer an issue since several libel cases have already been filed in relation to online defamation. But what is clear, we now have a law that runs after cyber criminals who shall commit similar offenses below:

  • Hacking (cracking)
  • Cyber squatting
  • Identity theft
  • Computer Fraud
  • Cybersex
  • Child Pornography
  • Commercial Spams
  • Libel

Read RA 10175 to know more of the provisions of the law, especially the fines and penalties thereat. Happy blogging and be responsible online writer!

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Facebook Timeline Business Cards by Moo

My 50-pcs. Facebook Timeline business cards by moo.com have just been delivered right at my door step Friday morning (January 28). I wasn’t expecting it will come true and moreover it was a surprise that it came earlier than what had been an estimate of moo.com that it will be delivered by 2nd week of February. By the way it’s FREE!

(Left: The 50-pcs. business cards are sealed in a box with a Facebook sticker. Right: The 12 designs based on my previous Timeline covers.)

(Left: The front under the cover is my name, title, and my media organization. Right: My favorite quote from Pres. Pnoy and under it are my facebook account address, contact numbers and email addresses.)

The cards are printed in London, England with materials taken from sustainable forest. Normally, the 50-card pack cost $15 inclusive of delivery to your door step. But i was able to grab the promotional launching of moo.com on Facebook and received my first box free.

Moo is an online stationery company that prints custom business cards, postcards, etc. Moo’s “Printfinity” prints the cards in a box of different designs. In the case of Facebook cards, the first 50 cover designs of your Timeline shall be printed separately.

Why a WordPress Paid Upgrade?

This blog is more than four years old. It underwent several face lifts using different themes offered free by various WordPress theme developers. But it never has a paid upgrade like premium theme, custom design, space upgrade, video press, and custom domain.

PREMIUM THEMES

I like the current theme of this blog–iTheme2 by Themify. It’s an Apple-inspired design which best fit for technology blog. For now, it’s the perfect choice for my blog after trying to wear several free themes in the past.

  

There are premium themes ranging $45-$100 per purchase. I opted not to spend a dime for a premium theme and just settled for an appropriate free themes several times.

CUSTOM DESIGN

Your free theme can still be optimized and you can also design your blog according to what you want by subscribing to a custom design upgrade. With the custom design upgrade, you can customize the fonts and have full control on how your blog should look according to the theme design. Custom design is for subscription at $30 per year.

SPACE UPGRADE

Any free wordpress.com blog like mine comes with a free 3-gigabyte storage for all uploaded files and images. The space can be increased with the space upgrade on subscription basis. WordPress has recently doubled the space upgrade on same subscription rate as shown in the table below. With the space upgrade you can already upload music aside from files and images directly to WordPress.

VIDEOPRESS

Your free wordpress.com blog doesn’t directly host video files. However, you can embed players from other free video sites on your blog. But sometimes external sites like YouTube remove the video without your knowledge and thus inconvenient to your readers. Subscribing to VideoPress @ $59.97 per year solves this problem. Watch the video for more:

CUSTOM DOMAIN

With custom domain upgrade you can choose a personalize URL for your blog like juntariman.me domain name instead of juntariman.wordpress.com for free WordPress blogs. The cost is $17 per year for registration and mapping. However, dot-me (.me) extension is worth $24 a year. Aside from what are enumerated in the note below, custom domain upgrade gives your blog a chance to be monetized through WordAds.


WordPress.com has also offered a promo bundle on upgrades @ $99 only that includes Custom Domain, VideoPress, 10GB Space Upgrade, Custom Design, and No Ads.

My choice of upgrades for my blog are the Custom Domain and Space Upgrade which give me the chance to monetize my blog and provide me an option to post direct audio player anywhere in my post.

Revisiting the Top Blog Posts

I wrote 58 new posts in 2011 that made up roughly 17 percent of the 347 total posts in this blog. Of the new posts, only one got to the top five most viewed post while the rest of the favorites dated back as old as 2008.

I’m reviewing the top posts and considering a follow-up write up about each post to exploit the interest of the viewers of my blog. Here again are my top posts for 2011:

“USB Background Image–How To Do it?”– the post has been consistent number 2 favorite in my blog for 3 years until it grabbed the top post in the past few months. The views can be attributed to the seekers looking for the codes of installing USB backgrounds in Windows 7. “USB background image” topped the most searched words in search engine referring to the blog. Unfortunately, there’s no USB background image codes available for Windows 7 yet. 

“Hidden Cam” and “Hayden Cam”– used to be number one post in my blog for three consecutive years until overtaken this year. Man’s sensual nature leads them to this post thinking it’s purely about sex and hidden cam. The post talks more on the use of a hidden cam in news gathering though it tackles also the controversial  sex video of two Philippine showbiz personalities– Dr. Hayden Kho and Katrina Halili.

“Remote Access Repair Tool (for Error 720/3G Modem Connection Problem)”– The failure of some 3G subscribers in the Philippines to connect using their laptops brings them to this post. The article provides the solution on the prevalent problem connecting to the internet using 3G modems in many laptops. The post offers a downloadable software which solves the 3G modem connection error 720.

“PLDT’s WatchPad “Big Ticket Service” Sucks!”– Watch out how it sucks you when it’s most watchable. The height of this post’s views was when Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao fought for the third time against Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez on November 15. Online people were looking for a free site of the fight and some of them were led to this site to get a glimpse how PLDT’s WatchPad offer gives a good view of the fight. Unfortunately, just like me they were frustrated of the service.

“Why We Need an Advertising Code of the Philippines?”– I am a little bit surprise when this post landed at the top five. This is more of an educational than entertaining. In the first place, this post was used in my advertising class and media laws and ethics class at the Mass Communication department of the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City, Philippines.

People up there in wordpress.com had prepared a show how this post performed in 2011 in their “2011 in Review“.

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 77,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.