Internet Libel Upholds Constitutional by Supreme Court

The Philippine Supreme Court declared Internet Libel as Constitutional while the “all-encomp(–foul word(s) removed–)ing power of the Department of Justice to just take down computer data” was declared as unconstitutional as announced by the high court on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

Internet Libel

The announcement was made by the Supreme Court through a press conference as SC spokesperson Theodore Te stated that section 4 (c) (4) of the Anti-Cybercime Act, or the provision penalizing libel – is constitutional “with respect to the original author of the post.”

The Supreme Court, however, did not allow, a penalty for those “who simply receive, post, react to the (message). Meaning, the Internet Libel only covers the original author and does not include persons that shared, Liked or Re-Tweeted the same.

The Supreme Court decision, penned by (–foul word(s) removed–)ociate Justice Roberto Abad, also declares constitutional section 5, or the aiding and abetting of the commission of cybercrime, in relation to the commission of: Illegal Access, Illegal Interception, Data Interference; System Interference; Misuse of Devices; Cyber-squatting; Computer-related Offenses such as Computer-related Forgery and Computer-related Identity Theft; and Cybers**.

The high court of the Philippines also ruled as unconstitutional some sections of the new law such as section 7, Section 19, Section 4-c-3 of the Anti-Cybercrime Law (RA 10175).

According to the Supreme Court the earlier Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issue is already functus officio – or has fulfilled its purpose. As such, “as far as the provisions not declared unconstitutional, the presumption is they’re already enforceable.”

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