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October 10, 2012

Philippines Supreme Court suspends cybercrime law

The court ordered the government to respond to the 15 petitions filed questioning the legality of the law

By CBR Staff Writer

The Philippines Supreme Court has suspended implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, a controversial cybercrime law which was passed earlier this month, following petitions from civil rights and journalists.

The apex court of the counrty has suspended the law for 120 days, restraining the government from enforcing the law, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III in September this year.

Philippines Supreme Court has suspended the law until next hearing which is scheduled on 15 January next year and ordered the government to respond within 10 days to 15 petitions filed questioning the legality of the law.

Philippines goverment claims that the law was enacted to prevent online child pornography, cybersex, identity theft and spamming, that as the existing system laws are deficient to tackle them.

Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 could see people in Philippines jailed for 12 years or fined for posting libellous comments on social networks including Facebook or Twitter.

US-based Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams was quoted by AFP saying that "The court should now go further by striking down this seriously flawed law."

The law sparked strong protests in the country, while unknown activists hacked into government websites and many Facebook and Twitter users changed their profile photos to black screens to protest against the law.

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