So before you hit that ‘like’ button on Facebook or you re-tweet something you found amusing/passionate/interesting then realize that if you’re in the Philippines you risk conviction with roughly 12 years jail time.
President Benigno Aquino III signed the new legislation called “the Cybercrime Prevention Act”, which defines several new felonies on the net with things like “cybersex,” identity theft, hacking, spamming, and pornography listed as prosecutable misdemeanours.
According to Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, simply sharing or liking something on a social network is just the beginning of the vague rulings with anyone using the alternative methods on DeviantArt, Pinterest, Imgur and countless other websites. Basically replying to this article or “up voting” a comment could land an unsuspecting Filipino in big trouble.
The Human Rights Watch has expressed alarm over the controversial law, saying it seriously threatens freedom of expression.
The HRW has also claimed that the law may provide all-encompassing powers for the government to shut down any Filipino website or restrict access to any outside website and tap into the online data required to take legal action against the sharer – with or without a warrant.