In the Philippines, the new Cybercrime Prevention Law contains provisions which may act as a prior restraint to freedom of speech. It also provides that law enforcement agencies can place an online account on “surveillance” for suspected violations of the law even without a court order – a clear violation of the standards of due process supposedly observed in democratic societies. The court order is only required when they have enough evidence against the owner of that account.
While the law is also intended against cybersex, identity theft and child-pornography, the provisions on online libel (inserted by a controversial Senator) became a flash point for journalists, bloggers, lawyers and free speech advocates. The odd part though was that the law was signed with the ambiguous and contentious provisions which were only pointed out by Filipinos online.
And oh, according to the lone Senator who opposed the law, even a “like” on a Facebook update or post may make you liable to online libel. So, yeah, be careful with what you “like” on Facebook, retweet on Twitter or even reblog on Tumblr.