EditorialsPH Digital and Tech

House Bill Seeks Mandatory Registration for All Websites and Social Media Accounts

cyber-bully

A Matter of Online and Social Media Accountability

House Bill No. 4093, AKA “The Online Social Media Membership Accountability Act”, was introduced by Congressman Arnolfo A. Teves Jr. and was received at 11:15am on October 13, 2016. The bill, if approved and passed as a law, will require public and private entities to submit themselves to a mandatory authentication process to verify their website and/or social media accounts; all in the name of keeping people accountable for their actions online.

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Here is a short description of the bill quoted directly from the document on file on congress.gov.ph:

An act mandating the authentication of online and social media memberships in the country through registration of their accounts using any valid government-issued identification and/or Barangay Certificate.

The bill aims to address particular happenings online that have run rampant, which include: cyber bullying, harassment, online scams, and libel. Through a registrations process, netizens will be given government-issued numbers that they will then have to use to verify their social media accounts to be able to use its services. House Act No. 4093 was quick to point out statistics regarding Cyber Bullying in the country that the Cyber Crime Act has yet to control due to “issues of traceability and accountability”; something they’re hoping will be solved with the passing of this bill.

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Penalties for breaking The Online Social Media Membership Accountability Act include a possible fine and days of community service for those who create an account that is not linked to any valid ID or Barangay Certificate. While those who create an account for the purpose of bullying, defamation, and conducting illegal business will be given jail time and a fine as well. Social media providers will also be held equally responsible if they cannot provide the identity or fail to authenticate the owner of accounts in question. As you can see above, the fine, days of community service, and jail time have not yet been confirmed.

According to the congress.gov.ph, the status of the bill, which you can read in its entirety HERE, is still pending with the Committee of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

What say you? Should there be mandatory registration for all websites and social media accounts? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the news UnboxPH, it has its good intentions to protect us from bullies online and scammers, but it is also a danger to us netizens when we know there are hackers that can access infos we submit online, or what if you are expressing opinions on social media and you are traceable they can survey who among us are in favor of the government or the administration or who are against them, then they can just raid you if you go against them then extra judicial killings would be easier to conduct. it has a good and bad purpose. it will kill rights to privacy and probably even freedom of speech, but it can also help people from being abuse online, so i think they should thoroughly study this before passing it can pressure websites for not cooperating in giving out private infos and identities, thank you just my 2 cents

    1. No, I suggest we aggressively push it to avoid trolling and keep the PH internet a safe place.
      We could care less about data being mined from those social accounts, what matters is safety.

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