Updates On Internet Censorship Issue
I have already made three (3) posts entitled Censoring The Internet, Filtering The World Wide Web and The Proposed Anti-Child Pornography Act that contain my opposition to a provision mandating the Internet service providers (ISPs) to do the filtering of objectionable child pornography content in the proposed anti-child pornography law. In all of those blogs, I explicitly said that I am not against the passage of a law that will protect the children against the evils of pornography. My only objection in the proposed law is the provision I mentioned because it will not only encroach on one’s freedom of choice but would also open the floodgate on real Internet censorship.
In this blog post, I will not discuss again what I have already said. I just wish to give you a feedback on the status of the legislation of The Anti-Child Pornography Act as I gathered them from reliable sources. In an email message circulated by the Executive Director of ECPAT Philippines (main lobbyist for the passage of the law) to various sectors concerned, updates on the subject are as follows:
- House Bill No. 6440 or the Anti-Child Pornography Bill passed 2nd Reading in the House of Representatives on the evening of August 11, 2009
- Third and final reading of the House bill is scheduled in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 25, 2009.
- Bicameral sessions may be held by October to consolidate the Senate and the House versions of the Anti-Child Pornography Act.
- The Anti-Child Pornography Act may be passed before the end of 2009.
There you have it, we will have the law on Anti-Child Pornography that will mandate the ISPs to do web filtering which is tantamount to censoring the Internet by early next year. While China has postponed the implementation of its Green Dam Youth Escort project that provides filtering only on end-user’s side and Malaysia’s move to adopt similar scheme has faced serious opposition from various sectors, here we are in the Philippines legalizing Internet censorship in the guise of protecting the children online.
Is censoring the Internet really the solution to child pornography? Will educating the child and the parent on the correct use of the Internet technology not help in curbing the evils of pornography? Is it correct that we will all be told what is right for us to see online? What will prevent the authorities from doing things beyond filtering Internet for its content? These are the questions and we will know the answers soon if the “righteous” people in our midst would have their way and we continue to keep quiet on the issue.
UPDATE Again: “The House of Representatives delivered what could be the strongest warning yet to child pornographers, pedophiles, cyber-sex den and unscrupulous Internet café operators by unanimously approving on third reading on Monday the Anti-Child Pornography Bill.” – An excerpt of the news item at the House OKs bill against child pornography“.( ) entitled “
the background of the bill author is certified cook and family history of high posts in public office.
thus we have the combination of ignorance in relevant matters + family connections so short track to assume high positions of power.
the same probably the issue with a lot of others who voted for the bill.
now, we all know that during the election cash is given away to voters by candidates in huge amounts (given voter numbers), corruption is rampant and anything can be bought or bypassed if to know right people through whom to bribe, we all know those corrupted policemen extorting motorists openly, when finding a traffic policemen who don’t take bribes is nearly impossible.
so that is the kind of government here and we have to live with it. but i also doubt there will be a serious effort to censor the internet here, since it apparently cannot make a lot of money, there are a lot of stupid laws which don’t work. what we really need to fight is incompetency, corruption, right now we have a lot of words but the reality is very different from those words, many sick people who can be easily treated are dying because they cannot pay which is direct contradiction to christian moral, people are treated like cattle, laws are just a joke. i would rather worry about ISP monopoly and consequent low Internet access speed and poor access quality, it is terrible, comparatively to 2001 we fell behind much further, if then the difference was like 5 times now it is 30 times slower as to advertised speed, the actual quality is usually much much worse.
what about those many children who are dying through lack of or inadequate health care?
where are those child pornography sites, are they really spreading like mushrooms? do one routinely stumbles into them or they are just underground phenomena – an exception, removed by any web hosting as soon as they are found.
sick children dying here when they don’t have to – is a rule, not the exception; from other side congressmen / congresswomen who have vacation houses with helipads from stolen public money resulting in poor public health care facilities and dismal roads and line is the rule, not an exception.
as long as programs like wawawi remain popular there is no place for a sound society foundation, people have to grow up first.
.-= jimbo´s last blog ..Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy dead =-.
I think it’s only depends on it’s user. I think the better way is to give education to the child
.-= My X Note´s last blog ..Food Poisoning =-.
This is like trying to stop a rampaging elephant. We try our best to explain to them how the internet works, and the pitfalls this bill will have on not only freedom of speech, but on the internet’s speed as well, but they still are pushing to go through with it.
It’s like trying to talk to a brick wall. These ignorant politicians believe what these companies (that writes these filtering software) tells them, and ignoring those who actually knows what technical issues will arise once this filtering software is in place.
They can’t even produce a single person who will explain how this filtering system will work! Is it even going to be effective in filtering out these pedophilia sites? These politician knows exactly how easy it is to circumvent these so called filtering softwares, and yet they are willing to go through all the effort, expenses, and flack from the public, just so no one can say that they have not created a single law during their term.
What’s the use of preventing pedophiles from getting into these very hard to find websites, when the damage has been done to the children in their website material? Why not stop the damage before they happen? Doing something after the fact is like taking the gun away after the shot has been fired. Where’s the use in that? Why not take the gun away first, before anyone can be shot?
The sad part about this whole thing is, most pedophiles i see on tv being caught, has never even been on the internet! We see uncles, grandfathers, fathers, and others from remote barrios and barangays committing these crimes. Who’s stopping them? What effect will a filtering system do to curb their minds when they probably don’t even know how to turn a computer on?
I wonder whether our politicians are ignorant, plain stupid, or just ignoring these facts because somehow, they have something to gain from this bill being passed. Not only are the children remaining unprotected, but people will have a sense of false security. On top of all that, we have lost something the Filipinos have fought so hard to regain. Our freedom of speech and the right to access information.
Mark my words, this bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It will rear it’s ugly head soon enough…
.-= Bien´s last blog ..WHO ARE WE? =-.
I think no one can stop this bill right now. This bill is covered with sweets to attract people in supporting this (protecting children). And those who will oppose will be branded “pedophiles” or “mahilig sa porno”.
They won’t listen because they have their own intentions. Once this bill becomes a law, expect an uproar.
.-= dodimar´s last blog ..Liberty Presbyterian Church 16th Anniversary. =-.
I like your thoughts. Can you send me a link to your other posts?
A crime done in private is a public act, privacy or privacy law cannot be used to protect criminals. For the best interest of the Child, the internet should be filtered by a Interpol. We need more common sense today than laws. There are many children being raped and and taped and then the video sold. In fact child pornography is a sum of many evil, its a package of rape, exploitation, trafficking, and abuse. And many is against this bill? my God, our world is just very terribly unsafe for every children.
I guess JohnPierre missed the point of the blog.
What is the point of filtering child pornography, when the crime is already out there for the pedophiles to see? Do you really think internet filtering will keep them from seeing these materials? I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but any IT will tell you that it won’t.
Child Pornography is already a big taboo in the internet world. Any sane person will immediately report a website to the host master or the authorities as soon as one is discovered.
Governments should concentrate their efforts in “preventing” the crime from happening. Once the material has been created and uploaded, they are already too late, for the child has already been victimized. Sometimes, I think the government, make laws like these to cover up their inability to do the logical in the first place.
Let the public police the internet. We know enough that child pornography is the lowest of the lows. Do your job in apprehending these creeps, lock them up in jail, and throw away the key. Sifting through an ocean trying to find a few rotten fishes is not only against good common sense; but the net they’re proposing to use is full of holes those rotten fishes will definitely look for and easily find.
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