Censoring The Internet
I got hold of the hard copies of the latest Senate and House versions of the proposed law defining the crime on child pornography, imposing penalties for the commission of the crime such as arson charges in California area and for other purposes. Take note of the the phrase “for other purposes” because that is where I got the title of this blog which I will explain later. Authored by some 128 members of Congress and 7 senators, the two (2) bills have very similar provisions regarding the definition of the crime of child pornography and the penalties for the commission. One disturbing provision in both versions of the proposed law is on how to prevent the viewing of child pornography wherein the Internet service providers (ISPs) are tasked to install blocking or filtering system which I termed as “censoring the Internet”.
Actually, I have already blogged about this in Filtering The World Wide Web and let me quote the portions relevant to this article.
Many of us are unaware but there is also such a kind of move in our legislature. In the guise of preventing child pornography, punishing the perpetrators of the despicable crime and protecting the child online, Senate Bill 2317 has in its Section 8 a provision 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.”
Lest I be misunderstood of being against the proposed Child Anti-Pornography Act of 2008, let me categorically state that I am NOT against it. My blog post on Porno Surfing at Cafés will bear me on this. It is only the provision in Section 8 that I quoted above which must raise concern on anybody using the Internet. If China which is known for its strict laws and regulations only wants anti-pornography filtering software to be installed in every computer that will be sold in its country, why will a democratic country like the Philippines impose such filtering at the level of the Internet Service Providers. Imagine the threat of such move to every Filipino’s freedom of choice and possible invasion of his privacy.
By the way, as sort of an update, China has suspended the July 1 implementation of the Green Dam project. France has a similar proposed legislation which is encountering strong opposition from some of their progressive lawmakers. Malaysia is recently in the news about the plan to implement something similar to Green Dam and its press sector are now voicing their opposition to the said plan.
This same subject had been discussed in forums frequented by café owners and majority are against the proposal to have the suspected URLs be filtered by the ISPs. Again, let me state that it is not because the café owners are against the passing of the proposed law. It is only the provision on filtering by the ISPs that we are against because this is tantamount to censoring the Internet.
There are better ways of achieving the purpose of child pornography not getting viewed by the public. Giving the ISPs the right to determine what we can view and what we cannot view in the Internet will open the web to a lot of possibilities. This could be the real purpose of our legislators in coming out with such provision. They are just using the subject of child pornography to achieve some ulterior motives for themselves. If this is not true then I ask them to take out such provision on ISPs doing the filtering then pass the law.
If this Bill will be passed into a law, this will be a headache.
Questions regarding that provision:
How does that “available technology, program, software” that filters child pornography work? How are they going to install the “available technology, program or software” to filter child pornography? Client side or server side?
If client side, will this “technology” be compatible with different OS we have? What if I want to reformat my computer, how will the ISP know that the software is not installed?
So many questions?
But as I remember, Sen. Jamby Madrigal denied that there is such a provision on the Act.
.-= dodimar´s last blog ..Liberty Presbyterian Church 16th Anniversary. =-.
dodimar is right. Jamby specifically said that it is not in the bill when i confronted her with it. after a few hush talks with her entourage of puppets, she said that what they propose is to use a new software written by a company in England. then she arrogantly went on to say that it is a software being used and implemented in several countries already, which we can’t find any proof of.
as i said earlier in xicowner’s first blog on the subject, i believe protecting the children is this senator’s last item in her agenda. i also included various ways to protect the children from pedophiles, as present laws, particularly that written by Senator Miriam Santiago will make this bill useless and redundant.
i find it hard to believe the media is focusing on the 1 million peso meal GMA’s entourage ate in a restaurant ( are they willing to sell their 1 million peso cars and donate the proceeds to charity?), Hayden Kho’s sexcapades, and mudlinging Willie Revillame on his on camera rebuttal of ABS-CBN management’s decision to air Cory’s funeral procession on the same screen as his Wowowee show (which incidentally, he graciously offered and suggested to air on a different time or day before the show started in the first place)… and hardly a word about this particular bill which would send us back years in terms of internet speed.
oh, why not a word of Jamby’s hired hands handing out rosaries during Cory’s funeral procession with Jamby’s own face on each package? can anyone say it’s not a campaign capitalizing on the late president’s demise?
i do wish people read about this and help put an end to it. the repercussions are greater that what most people think.
Could we not make amendments to the provision on filtering the ISPs, if censoring the internet would mean depriving one’s rights on privacy? Just like viewing television, reading magazines and other media readily available at home, the government, parents, and the nation in general has the responsibility to do their best to guide our children away from this harmful pornos , morally speaking. A better consensus must be done , i mean, parents must do their obligations to their children, the government must do protect the children from pornography and pass laws/bills accordingly and laymen in general must conform to whatever standards the Society in general adheres to. Everyone must do his part to the bargain, thereby reaching a “consensus” for the good of everyone, so to speak.
what irks me is… how in the world will this help the children being victimzed by pedophiles?! if the picture or video is already posted in the interenet, then the crime has already been done anyway!
so we allow them to victimize the children, but will not allow them to be viewed by their intended viewers? is it only me or does anyone else see what’s wrong with this picture?
increase the punishment for pedophilia and it’s related acts. only the maximum possible punishment is what will make them think twice about committing these acts. have you read the fines? these lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves thinking that a child’s innocence is worth only so much.
they are not thinking about the children. they are thinking about personal gains with this bill.
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