The Supreme Court has revealed its decision regarding the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, also known as the RA 10175. Their ruling deems the online libel provision as constitutional but applicable only to the author.

This means anyone who perpetrates libel online can be prosecuted, but other users can’t be held liable for commenting on the potentially defamatory statement/article (as well as liking and sharing it on social networks).

On the other hand, the Supreme Court has ruled other provisions to be unconstitutional. These provisions relate to unsolicited commercial communications, real-time collection of traffic data, and restricting or blocking access to computer data. In other words, mass texting of ads is still legal, while law enforcement authorities are prohibited from collecting traffic data in real-time even if with due cause.

Besides libel and other crimes aforementioned above, the Cybercrime Prevent Act of 2012 was enacted to address issues revolving online activities and to pursue against Internet-related crimes, such as cybersex, identity theft, cybersquatting, and more. It was met with criticism among netizens due to its apparent, negative effect on online freedom of expression.

You can read more about the Republic Act No. 10175 at the Official Gazette.

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