Moving Late Against Web Filtering At ISP Level
Those of you who visited this site and read my blogs last year must have noticed the series of articles about web filtering at ISP level where I strongly expressed my opposition against a such a provision in the then anti-child pornography bill which eventually became the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009. I conducted my personal crusade against the proposed method of preventing the access to and transmittal of child pornographic materials because of my belief that it would degrade further the already very poor quality of Internet connections that our ISPs are giving us. The other reason why I am against the said provision of an otherwise very meritorious law on protecting the children against pornography, is the probable abuse by the authority on its implementation whereby human rights will be violated. By way of reference, I wish to enumerate my blog posts about the subject of web filtering at ISP level as follows:
- Filtering The World Wide Web – June 16, 2009
- The Proposed Anti-Child Pornography Act – July 7, 2009
- Censoring The Internet – August 11, 2009
- Updates On Internet Censorship Issue – August 25, 2009
- Web Filtering And The Café Business – August 26, 2009
- Responding To Web Filtering At ISP Level – September 18, 2009
- Web Filtering By An ISP is Now A Law – November 30, 2009
All through the time that I was blogging against web filtering at ISP level, no mainstream media picked-up the issue except once when I attended a round table discussion (RTD) regarding Internet governance and social controls organized by La Salle Institute of Governance. In the said RTD which was held in early September 2009, the participants were surprised when I brought out the information that the proposed law on anti-child pornography carries a provision on Internet filtering by ISPs had already passed second readings in both Congress and the Senate.
The next time that the Anti-Child Pornography bill came out in the mainstream press was when it was signed into a law in late November 2009. The new law has the web filtering by ISPs among its provisions and only the implementing rules and regulations needs to be done by NTC before it gets implemented by March 2010 at the latest. By this time, I am resigned to the fact that web filtering by ISPs will be on us and that we can only hope that it will be implemented technically without causing service degradation and legally for the sole purpose of preventing access to or transmittal of child pornographic materials.
But, as if by stroke of luck or should I call it bad luck because it came in too late in time, Mr. Gener Morada, the National Advocacy Officer of I-Café Pilipinas, emailed me very early yesterday morning about the special reports of Manila Times.net regarding the DLSU study on Internet governance and social controls which specifically tackle the issue of web filtering by ISPs. It will be a long reading because Manila Times.net has four (4) articles published at the same time yesterday. The news outfit may have recognized the importance of the issues against web filtering at ISP level so they decide against publishing the special reports in installments. Here are the links to the Manila Times.net articles:
- Recommendations for RA 9775’s implementing rules and regulations
- Anti-child porn, anti-cyber-boso laws could lead to massive freedom curbs
- Sneaking surveillance and filtering could easily happen
- Internet cafés questions law’s provisions
I wish to say that I am very happy that Manila Times, a prominent mainstream press, published the above special reports and expressed their support on the study’s recommendation that the authorities must carefully balance morality issues with human-rights protection. I repeat though that they may have picked-up the issues much too late to cause any change in the unwanted provision of the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.