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Philippines Supreme Court suspends cybercrimes law

The Supreme Court of the Philippines [official website] on Tuesday supended a cybercrimes law [RA 10175, PDF] that became effective last week. The suspension [AP report] will be for 120 days while the court considers whether provisions of the law violate civil liberties. With the suspension, the court also ordered the Philippines government to respond within 10 days to the 15 petitions challenging the constitutionality of the law. Opponents of the law argue that it creates opportunities for politicians to suppress critics because the law makes online libel a crime and blocks access to websites that are deemed to be in violation of the cybercrimes law. It was signed [JURIST report] by President Benigno Aquino [official profile] last month to prevent various electronic offenses including forgery, fraud, identity theft and child pornography.

Cybercrime and electronic privacy laws have been a focus of courts and legislatures throughout the world. Earlier in September New York Governor Andrew Cuomo [official website] signed into law a bill [JURIST report] that amends the state's penal code to prohibit the access and viewing of child pornography on the Internet. Internet search company Google [corporate website] has faced investigations and legal action over privacy concerns and electronic security matters in Switzerland, the EU, Japan and the US [JURIST reports] over the past year.

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