Is it better to encourage observance of a cyber code of ethics rather than a cybercrime prevention law?

This week, the Supreme Court started its oral arguments on the the petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act. In light of this, social media users react to our Question of the Week.

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  1. Question of the Week (Jan. 14-20, 2013): Is it better to encourage observance of a cyber code of ethics rather than a cybercrime prevention law? Please explain your answer.
  2. Facebook
  3. There are 12 Facebook users who voted "Yes", one voted "No", while one said "it depends." Below are the answers Facebook users posted:
  4. Not all are capable of observing "net etiquette", i did it twice (and felt sorry after) ...there are always law breakers around...in short, strict cyber crime prevention law is needed...BUT should not trample the freedom of netizen...except in cases their activities are detrimental to other's honor, or welfare....
  5. The law is prone to abuse especially with the kind of government officials that we have, a substantial number of them are onion-skinned. Besides, responsibility must become a force of habit, not something that must be forced upon someone.
  6. A law is good insofar it guarantees protection. Moderating behaviour and speech should be inclusive and with wide participation - i.e more speech and debate. A law presumes there is a national consensus on who has the moral and legal authority to determine whether expression is justified or not.
  7. News organizations have updated their ethical guidelines to reflect the growing dominance of social media. Even now, bloggers are planning to cract common ethical standards ( see my page later for announcement). How many millions of citizens on the Net -- wouldn't we want to educate themm encourage and covince them that ehical behavior benefits everyone, or use fear to bamboozle them into paralysis? Hasn't worked even under autocratic regimes; Filipinos will simply rebel.
  8. There is no doubt about the need for a cybercrime prevention law. The problem with the one we are contesting is that it seeks to classify perceived abuses of free expression as crimes instead of what they rightly are, lapses of ethics and good manners. Personally, I see this as deliberate, part of the efforts, not just of an administration but of a whole political system notorious for its intolerance for criticism, to limit free discourse, much as the refusal to pass the Freedom of Information Act. Although the speed with which the Internet has evolved and the proliferation of social networks may seem to be overwhelming, they are, in fact, still in the early stages and the culture/s and ethics that inform our online behavior are just starting to evolve.
  9. There is need for a law that prevents cybercrimes. If the government really cares for the real victims, it must stop wasting its finite resources and brainpower on the innocent.
  10. There has been a long-running debate and discussion among bloggers about a "code of ethics". But even before the communities arrive at a conclusion, individual bloggers and a number of group blogs have adopted their own codes. Let's see what we could do as we move forward.
  11. There are aspects that need to be legally enforcable such as sexual exploitation of children at home or abroad. Also other dodgy trading on line ... the bill is necessary but not in it's present form which prevents freedom of speech.
  12. This could be one of the answers .... as in the UK .... ceop.police.uk/
  13. Journalists, netizens must not be punished for exercising freedom of expression and press freedom. A code of ethics is most welcome.
  14. Twitter
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