A fact sheet on the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom.
THE MAGNA CARTA FOR PHILIPPINE INTERNET FREEDOM (MCPIF) is the first legislation drafted through online crowdsourcing. Spurred by the realization that representative democracy cannot always address that needs of the community, the drafters of the MCPIF came together to craft legislation for the Internet that would reflect the experience and aspirations of Filipino netizens.
ALL ABOUT MCPIF
The MCPIF has four key principles:
1. Rights. Civil and political rights enshrined in the Constitution should be recognized and promoted in cyberspace.
2. Governance. Information and communications technology should be harnessed to improve governance and empower citizens.
3. Development. Information and communications technology is a powerful driver of the national economy.
4. Security. The country should prepare for the security challenges of the future without violating Constitutional rights of citizens.
I. The MCPIF strives to preserve, promote, and protect civil and political rights.
“Your rights offline are your rights online.” This, in a nutshell, is the underlying principle behind the Magna Carta for Internet Freedom.
On FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.
The MCPIF seeks to promote and protect in cyberspace the civil and political rights of every citizen enshrined in the Constitution. Under the MCPIF, every netizen’s freedom of speech and expression over the Internet is protected. Thus, netizens are empowered to:
1. Use the Internet to petition the government for redress of grievances;
2. Publish material on or upload information on the Internet;
3. View any kind of content on the Internet without censorship or restriction.
The MCPIF on Libel.
There is no Internet libel if there is no malice or intent to injure. Internet libel must explicitly and positively identify the person who is the subject of the expression.
Under the MCPIF, there is no internet libel in the following instances:
1. Protest against the government and public officials.
2. Criticism of politicians and candidates.
3. Criticisms of NGOs, associations, religious groups.
4. Criticism of companies for bad service is not libel.
5. Guerilla marketing is not libel.
6. Criticism via DM or PM though later made public by someone else is not libel.
FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE SEE SECTION 8 ON THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION ON THE INTERNET, RELATED TO SECTION 33 ON INTERNET LIBEL, HATE SPEECH, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, AND OTHER EXPRESSION INIMICAL TO PUBLIC INTEREST.
On the RIGHT TO CREATE.
1. Copyright protection of any content published over the Internet. Under MCPIF, codes, computer programs, and software applications now also enjoy copyright protection.
2. Authors can specify that their content be governed by a copyleft or or a free license.
3. Non-attribution or plagiarism of content, regardless of license elected by author, constitutes an infringement of intellectual property rights.
On the RIGHT TO INNOVATE.
1. The right to access or develop new information and communications technologies shall not be denied without due process of law.
2. An inventor/developer of a new ICT technology shall not be penalized in case other users misuse or abuse the technologies he has developed.
On the RIGHT TO PRIVACY.
1. No one can access your private information without your knowledge.
2. Service providers, telcos, and other companies cannot submit your private information without your knowledge and without a court order, issued after due notice and hearing.
3. No unilateral takedown provision.
4. Unauthorized disclosure of any private data transmitted through the Internet or public networks is penalized.
II. The MCPIF seeks to improve governance, promotes the development of ICT, and prepares the country for the security challenges of the future.
A. THE MCPIF WILL FACILITATE ACCESS TO INFORMATION BY CITIZENS.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Official Gazette may establish a website for government public information. This will promote citizen engagement and transparency in governance. See the UK’s data.gov.uk.
B. THE MCPIF WILL ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY.
1. It mandates the DICT and NEDA to draft a program for investment opportunities in ICT technology and infrastructure.
2. Those who invest in information and communications technology shall enjoy tax incentives.
C. THE MCPIF WILL PROMOTE NATIONAL SECURITY.
1. The MCPIF mandates the country’s preparedness for cyberdefense and cybersecurity.
2. The police and the military’s capability to detect, prevent, and respond to cyberterrorism, especially on PH Gov and private sector critical infrastructure, is strengthened.
3. Cyberterrorist attacks on critical infrastructure shall be subject to a penalty one degree higher because of the extent of damage it may inflict.
D. THE MCPIF WILL PROTECT CITIZENS AGAINST CYBERCRIMES.
1. The MCPIF provides penalties for offenses such as network sabotage, hacking, cracking, phishing, piracy, cybersquatting, fraud, hate speech.
2. The MCPIF also provides penalties for prostitution and child prostitution, trafficking in persons, child pornography, child abuse committed via the Internet and ICT devices.
PH needs MCPIF: Why?
1. ICT and the Internet are part of our daily lives. Philippine critical infrastructure is controlled, maintained, and accessed using ICT and Internet networks and these must be protected.
An estimated 30 million Filipinos are internet users, with over 90% of the population mobile phone subscribers.
The country’s critical infrastructure—government, utilities, communications, banking and finance, mass media, among others—have facilities that are controlled, maintained, and accessed using ICT and Internet networks.
The rise of cyber attacks against critical infrastructure highlights the need to secure our critical infrastructure from similar attacks.
With the MCPIF, cyber security becomes an integral part of the country’s defense program.
2. Government must harness ICT and Internet technologies to engage citizens effectively and provide services efficiently.
Best examples of the power of ICT and the Internet are times of national emergencies.
This also works the other way: Government is informed of security threats even before these are reported via official government channels.
Experience shows that ICT and the Internet translates to better governance and more empowered citizens.
Through the MCPIF, we will have a systematic and more programmed development of ICT and the Internet in all levels of government.
3. ICT and the Internet are drivers for Philippine economic growth.
A 2009 World Bank study says that for every ten percentage point increase in high-speed Internet connections, there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points.
A 2012 report by the Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office says that BPO and ITO industries (aka knowledge worker industries)—all dependent on fast and reliable ICT—contributed USD 11B in export revenues, or an estimated 5.4% of the PH GDP in 2011.
National Statistics Coordinating Board analysts determined that growth of ICT- and Internet-dependent knowledge worker industries promoted salary scales—ranging from PHP 10,000 to PHP 100,000 for knowledge workers in 2006.
MCPIF vs. RA 10175
1. The MCPIF ensures that the right to freedom of expression is protected in cyberspace; RA 10175 does not.
RA 10175 constrains speech and expression on the Internet. The MCPIF upholds freedom of expression by defining the exceptions to libel in step with existing Philippine jurisprudence.
The dangerous “takedown” clause of RA 10175, where the government may have a website or network blocked or restricted without due process of law, does not exist in the MCPIF. Instead, the MCPIF provides for due process of law and specifically prohibits censorship of content without a court order.
2. The MCPIF ensures the right to privacy and protects against illegal search and seizure in cyberspace. RA 10175 violates those rights.
RA 10175 allows the warrantless real-time collection of traffic data. The MCPIF ensures due process by providing strict guidelines for any collection of any data, including the securing of warrants, obligating notification, and limiting seizure to data and excluding physical property.
3. The MCPIF ensures that no person accused of a cybercrime will be subject to double jeopardy. RA 10175 allows double jeopardy.
RA 10175 allows prosecution of offenses committed against its provisions and offenses committed against the Revised Penal Code and special laws; never mind that the offenses are from a single act. Section 40 of the MCPIF protects against double jeopardy.
4. RA 10175 treats the use of ICT or the Internet as an aggravating circumstance. The MCPIF does not.
Just because the offender used the internet, RA10175 penalizes him one degree higher. Under the MCPIF, the fair penalty is imposed.
5. The MCPIF provides a framework for Filipinos to thrive using the Internet; RA 10175 focuses on crimes without promoting Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and ignoring the need for Filipino ICT development.
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