Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

A test of faith

I’ve been preoccuped this week with recent developments back home which make what I am doing probably illegal in my home country. Which makes me even more compelled to blog about it.

The Philippine government has enacted into law Republic Act 10175 or also known as the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012”. Originally drafted to crimminalize certain offenses made via digital means such as identity theft, spamming, cybersex and child pornography. There are no previous laws tackling this issue in the digital realm which makes these pretty much updating dating the current laws. However a line has been included that many find disturbing and that is the libel clause.

I’ll save you the trouble and fast forward through the pdf link above to page 7 on the pdf or page 13 of the scanned pages and read section 19.

Sec. 19. Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data – When a computer data in prima facie found to be in violation of this Act, the DOJ* shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer data.

*Department of Justice

This basically means, they don’t need a court order to shut the internet, SMS, mobile phones and anything that is in a digital medium down if they see fit. Not to mention that the penalties for commiting online libel is harsher than traditional media libel (newspapers, radio, tv) which ranges from 1 Million pesos (roughly USD $25,000) and/or 12 years in prison.

With this in mind I’ll refer to the 1987 Philippine Constituition which states in Article III, Section 3 and 4,

Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of
the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in
any proceeding.

Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of
the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

I’m no lawyer but it’s clear that there is something seriously wrong with the law.

Ten motions for a temporary restraining order have been filed before the Supreme Court and they will meet on Tuesday to listen to the arguments. The law took effect yesterday.

So you can imagine what took place. My fellow countrymen were livid. They went to the streets in protest and changed their facebook profile to black in protest.

http://beta.taopo.org/isyu/10/02/2012/online-protests-become-offline-actions-against-ra-10175

It has been picked up by the foreign press.

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/09/19/philippines-anti-cybercrime-law-threatens-media-freedom/

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/10/dark-day-philippines-government-passes-cybercrime-act

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/philippine-websites-hacked-over-cybercrime-law-175219087.html

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57526494-71/can-you-be-jailed-for-a-facebook-like-in-the-philippines/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19810474

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/04/world/asia/philippines-cyber-law-protest/index.html

http://world.time.com/2012/10/03/must-reads-from-around-the-world-40/

Let’s go even further that the Philippines joined the Open Government Partnership in 2011.

It seems that government and politicians can’t put a stop to the discussion going on about them and the way they behave and perform in goverment and that their only recourse is to just put a lid on it and put the entire country back in the stone ages.

Just recently, a senator was caught plagiarising his speech by the internet community and claimed he did nothing wrong. It was made worse as he did it again a week later. But this time, translating a speech delivered by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in 1966 into Filipino. Oh yeah, he put the libel clause in.

Now lawmakers are quick to go on camera and state that “if” elected, they will change that provision. It’s an election year next year and they need the votes of the public.

Let’s look at the numbers.

So far, most of the protests I’ve seen are on Facebook and I’ve shared a number of them.

According to socialbakers.com

Facebook has almost 30% of the general population of the Philippines or almost everyone with an internet connection.

With more than half of them are eligible voters. How many are registered voters is another issue but is it enough to change their minds?

Now for the interesting part. Now what?

Sharing Facebook is nice and all but in the end we are all just armchair activists. Sharing, liking and retweeting things we believe our readers and followers should know. But will it change anything?

This is an interesting turning point for the country. This internet generation has grown up used to the freedoms that my parents didn’t have between the years 1972-1986 when the country was ruled by a dictator. I know my history and what it took to get that freedom back. I am curious if this generation will stand up for their rights.

This is a challenge to our freedom and to our internet. The internet must be free and it is up to us to keep it that way. The government has much to learn from the internet. I would like you to watch ITP Professor Clay Shirky speaking at TED Global this year on what government can learn from the internet and it’s users.

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2010 in review

WordPress has kindly sent this year and review stats to me. It’s very helpful to see how many posts you actually made in a year and how much traffic is sent. Thank you all for coming to the site and I’ll do better this year.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 82 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 439 posts. There were 64 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 18th with 232 views. The most popular post that day was UP Lantern Parade 2010 Part 1.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were otaku.fm, facebook.com, joystiq.com, twitter.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for up lantern parade 2010, morbol, marlboro final fantasy, final fantasy marlboro, and lair of the shadow broker.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

UP Lantern Parade 2010 Part 1 December 2010

2

Final Fantasy XIV Fall Update October 2009

3

Dragon Age Origins Awakening coming in March January 2010

4

Hands on: Dragon Age: Awakening SPOILER WARNING!! March 2010

5

UP Lantern Parade survival guide 2010 December 2010

Can we finally get back to work?

Congress has finally dismissed the second impeachment complaint against Philippine President Arroyo with a unanimous vote of 173-32-1.

This was the first major issue Congress tackled since it was formally opened by the President just last month.

According to the Philippine Constituition, another impeachment case cannot be filed within the same year the first one was cast.

Now the opposition has a year to file another one. Can we finally get back to work?

But on the eve of an election year, I seriously doubt that would happen. We are about to see all of the grandstanding and publicity moves up until the elections next year. And we’ll never get anything done. I wish congress will prove me wrong.

Prove me wrong for once. I want to be surprised that they will pass the anti-terror bill. I want them to start debating about digital security, copywright and internet privacy. That they will finally pass laws that will matter.

Stop with the bickering and media grandstanding. File those claims of election fraud in the proper venue. That is why we have the courts. That is not the job television.

There’s a lot of work to be done. The president has started. Now can congress?

So what else is new?

After President Arroyo of the Philippines gave her State of the Nation address, her supporters and detractors have once again stepped forward and gave their point of view on the situation.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storyPage.aspx?storyId=45468

It’s a sad sad sad world that these people live in. That the be all and end all solution to the current problems facing our nation would be the simplistic ouster of the President. They accuse her of selling false hopes to the people. But at least she has a plan. A solid plan on how to get things going.

What have they promised? Only false hopes as well. Promising that things will be better once she’s gone. Practically the only thing that they can promise. They have no plan for the people but their own.

Another year for our congress and another year of delayed bills and useless bickering instead of helping the country grow. When can everyone finally get on the same page and work for the people for a change?

Unproductivity

Just recently, it was disclosed to the Philippine public on how inept the elected members of legislature. Can you believe that in past 365 days the Senate only passed 9 bills!?!?!
Nine!?!?!
And my tax money goes to pay these unproductive people!! And worst of all, the people voted for them!!! Don’t even get me started on congress.
Two years ago I believed that the presidential elections that took place would be a turning point for Filipinos. It was a choice they had to make. I believe that the result of the elections was fair though it was very close. Unfortunately it sharply divided the nation. With the masses feeling more oppressed largely by the propaganda by the of the opposition. It saddens me that they can easily be fooled by these so called “defenders of the masses”.
Many do not see how these people live. Many do not see the fancy cars and the tens of bodyguards they bring along with them. They do not see the big houses and the lands that belong to their name. They accuse the majority party of having those things, when they have it too. They are all just the same. It is their motives that are only slightly different.
The senate and congress have done nothing in the past two years but to get the president impeached. Their propaganda has spread so far that the ordinary person does even want the president out. But with no real alternative to the presidency, they do not have support of the people. Why? Because the alternative is worse. It would plunge the country into chaos and bring us right where we were in 1986 before the elections.
Next year is another election year. Think what your congressman or senator has been doing the past three years before you vote. They have done NOTHING FOR YOU.

Why don’t I feel sorry

This afternoon’s headlines just made me shrug it off. “Congressman’s SUV carjacked!”

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=38258

I don’t know the congressman personally or even heard of him until today. But when I heard that a congressman’s SUV was jacked! The first thing that popped in my mind was, “go ahead who cares. That’s probably how he got his in the first place.” But maybe not in such violent means. But for me to think of that sort of thing. Such horror!

Such horror that I would think that a congressman would steal a car. But still, why would I think that way? Would I think that way if they actually did something to help the country? Would I think that way if they can spend MY HARD EARNED TAX MONEY on something else rather than LIVING INSIDE CONGRESS HIDING FROM THE POLICE! Can they spend more time writing and passing bills that would protect our rights on the web and content that we create such as movies and music and ideas.

Maybe if they did something more productive than just grandstanding on television about how the president should resign. I would probably feel sorry if their car got stolen. Maybe finally someone will do something about it now.

/sigh

Yada, yada, yada.

People keep complaining about the things that were allegedly taken away by Proclamation 1017 and keep comparing it to Martial Law and so on.

Ever count the stuff that we do have? You never look for it until it’s gone. Maybe we really don’t deserve the freedom we have if we take it foregranted.

Puhleeaaazzzeeeee. The only ones who lost over the past few weeks were honest people trying to make a living but these so called “defenders of our liberty” just ruined everything. Scared off a ton of foreign buyers from Manila and went to Singapore. Do an honest days work for once. I dare you. Not one person who went to the streets last Friday had an honest job to begin with. Don’t call yourself defenders of liberty when you don’t even live in it.