A new Internet law that took effect in the Philippines on Wednesday could lead to imprisonment for common activities like sharing Facebook and Twitter posts, critics say. The new law, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on Sept. 12, sets penalties for several computer-related crimes, including child pornography, identity theft, online fraud and illegally accessing computer networks. But critics are concerned about the law’s provisions related to libel, which in the Philippines is a criminal offense that can result in imprisonment. Harry S. Roque, president of Media Defense South East Asia, an advocacy organization, said the law applied the existing legal definition of libel to the online activities of individuals, meaning that if a comment on Facebook or Twitter were deemed libelous, the writer of the item and those who shared it could be prosecuted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/world/asia/new-internet-law-gets-hostile-reception-in-philippines.html
James F. Booth
For more than 25 years, James Booth has provided consulting and legal services to telecommunications carriers and to enterprise companies that manage their own telecommunications networks. Since June of 2009 he has also served as General Counsel of Spread Networks, LLC, which is the industry leader in the construction and operation of low latency high speed networks. Before joining Spread he was General Counsel for OnFiber Communications, a competitive telecommunications provider, and was the sole attorney for Qwest Communications International in support of its construction of an 18,800 mile fiber optic network spanning the United States. Earlier he was lead counsel for U S WEST in its wireless and cable television ventures in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.