The Proposed Anti-Child Pornography Act
It was almost eleven in the evening (11:00 PM) and I was having some sort of writer’s block so I still have no prepared blog for posting (I usually post blogs at a little past midnight) when my webmail notifier popped-up from my task bar. As it has been my habit to stop whatever I am doing when such thing occur, I immediately open my email and saw an email message datelined Monday, July 6, 2009 10:22 PM with the subject Anti-Child Pornography Petition: Call for Support. The email message came in twice (same time stamps) as if telling me that here is a topic I must blog on.
This is not the first time I write about this subject. I already blogged about it in Filtering The World Wide Web where I already expressed my personal stand on the issue. In that blog, I sincerely hope that my readers understood that I am not against the purpose or intention of the proposed law. It is only the provision in the approved Senate version that says “All Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shall install available technology, program or software to ensure that access to or transmittal of Child Pornography will be blocked or filtered” that I am against.
I even said in my earlier blog that if China which is known to be really capable of using strong arm when it comes to what its citizens should follow did not command their ISPs to do such thing, why will a democratic country like ours have such kind of provision in implementing a simple case of blocking unwanted websites. Based on you responses, we were unanimous in our opposition to such provision not only because it is a direct violation of a citizen’s freedom of choice but more giving the ISPs the choice on which websites to block. Such power, if granted to ISPs, can be abused and may lead to invasion of one’s privacy.
This leads me to the story about what transpired during the Luzon Sub-National Conference of Internet Cafe Owners against Child Pornography held last 10 Mar 2009, at Bayview Park Hotel, Manila. I was not there and this was only told to me by many of the participants in the event where it was concluded that the I-cafe industry players are endorsing the passage of the law as-is.
It was during the open forum when Sen. Jamby Madrigal, the author of the bill, was asked by an event participant to reconsider the objectionable provision. The reply he got from the senator was there is no such provision in the already approved Senate bill. The participant was even scolded by the senator for bringing up the issue and was told to read again the proposed law. The irony here is that there is really such a provision in Section 8 of Senate Bill 2317 which the good senator does not know.
Let me say again that I am not against the approved Senate version of the proposed law and that we should not stop its passage . It is only the provision that will give the responsibilty to ISPs to block the unwanted websites that we should fight against. If you are with me on this stand, I suggest that we make our own online petition that will express our support for the passage of the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2008 but without the said provision. Something similar to China’s Green Dam – Youth Escort software must be considered in place of the objectionable provision.
NOTE: Your comments are welcome here but you may wish to proceed to Café Forum for your questions and comments.