Monday, September 07, 2009

"Social control"

Update: The second part involves the right-to-reply bill pending in Congress. The thesis being that RTR could impact on internet usage similarly to proposed cyberspace regulation. I commented on RTR in a previous blogpost.

Alexander Villafania writes part one of his "‘Social control’ better than legislation" in the PDI on September 6. If not for the heading Internet in the Philippines, and that the piece falls under technology, I would have thought it was about the Reproductive Health Bill. Well, it isn't, but it talks about the moves by Congress to regulate cyberspace in the Philippines through legislation.

An issue he writes of:

More than anything else, the said bill by Senator Madrigal also opens a can of worms, according to Winthrop Yu, a director for the Philippine Internet Commerce Society (PICS) who also spoke at the DLSU forum.

He stressed that if passed with the specific section on ISPs unrevised, the Anti-Child Pornography Bill could become a control mechanism for governments to look into private records of ISP clients, with the premise that the government is merely looking into alleged child pornography.

“That makes ISPs liable for alleged child pornography, which could stifle their business,” Yu said.

Privacy is a concern indeed. But this is pretty much one of the points raised by groups that oppose the proposed RHB in its present form. The choice of parents in many aspects cannot be too different from the privacy argument of those who oppose one way or the other proposed cyberspace regulations.

Congress does not want to be inconsistent. If it wants government to dictate choices of parents and families with respect to "reproductive health", why should it desire the opposite with regard to individual's choices in cyberspace?

Let's see what part two says.

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