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Supreme Court Upholds Online Libel Clause of Cybercrime Law


Clarifies liking or commenting won’t get you in legal trouble

The Supreme Court en Banc Today has upheld the constitutionality of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime prevention act, including the controversial online libel clause. According to SC, the libel clause is constitutional, but comes with a caveat – only the original author is subject to the libel clause. That means that you can’t be slapped with a libel suit if you’re merely reacting or commenting on a potentially libelous post on websites or on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

The Supreme Court meanwhile declared unconstitutional a provision of the law that gives the state power to take down online content without a warrant. The Supreme Court also declared unconstitutional the unsolicited Commercial Communications Section 4 (c)(3), Section 19 on Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data as well Section 12 of the law, or real time collection of internet data.

One sliver of good news from the decision is that libel offenders will be charged under the Revised Penal Code and not one degree higher which was originally envisioned in the law.


The decision comes almost a year after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the new law.


John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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