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Netizens go black on Facebook

(The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos have blacked-out their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures in protest against the controversial Cybercrime Law.

The wave of black profile photos has rapidly spread across social media websites after a group called Philippine Internet Freedom Association encouraged the protest.

Officials say the hotly disputed Cybercrime Law is a way to combat hacking, identity theft, cybersex and online child pornography.

However, many so-called netizens say Republic Act 10175 is draconian and fear politicians will use it to curtail freedom of speech.

The law makes libelous comments online, including comments on sites like Facebook and Twitter, a cybercrime punishable by jail.

As part of the protest, some people are also displaying Facebook status messages that shows a “black bar,” followed by “[STATUS BLOCKED] (RA NO 10175),” Yahoo! reported.

Others turned to Twitter, changing their profile pic to pure black to express their displeasure over the newly enacted measure.

The hashtag #NoToCyberCrimeLaw also became a trending topic on Tuesday as netizens went on a “countdown” as the new law comes into effect.

The “black out call” led by the Philippine Internet Freedom Association (PIFA) urged Pinoy netizens to unite in protest and support efforts to push for the repeal or amendment of R.A. 10175

“Our dear Filipino netizens, the government is taking the Internet away from us. It is but just to reclaim it in all ways possible,” PinoyXtreme website said.

Prior to “Black Tuesday & Wednesday” local hacktivists went on a “Bloody Monday” splurge, attacking several government websites such as those of the Department of Health, Department of Health’s SmokeFree website, Maritime Training Council, Provincial Government of Batangas, Optical Media Board, Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), DOST’s One-Stop Information Shop for Technologies in the Philippines, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

 Even the Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, including gov.ph was not spared.

The hacking incidents began Wednesday last week with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other sites, followed by the defacement of NTC’s homepage on Sunday.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred action on the bid of various groups to stop the implementation of certain provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, virtually allowing the new law to take effect yesterday. – Nicholas Jones, Verns Joven

BANGKO SENTRAL BLACK TUESDAY BLOODY MONDAY CYBERCRIME LAW CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EVEN THE TWITTER AND FACEBOOK FACEBOOK AND TWITTER PHILIPPINE INTERNET FREEDOM ASSOCIATION
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