CYBER LAW CRIME
By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
Author of book entitled “Simplified Libel Law in the Philippines”
Primarily, there is no such a thing as “solicited advertisement.” So why make it a crime for an imagined act of causing an “unsolicited advertisement”?
I am appalled by the show of low intellect and low sense of decency of the Filipino Congress, which is composed of the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives.
This is a reverse of the statesmanship the senators and congressmen showed during the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The honor we have established through that decent process of removing a high official is it is the first time in the world for a country to kick out its head of the highest tribunal through a peaceful trial.
All these honors are now a suspect.
The Congress made as a crime such act they called “unsolicited commercial communications,” defined by them as “the transmission of commercial electronic communications with the use of computer system which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services.” Read Section 4 of Republic Act 10175 signed into law by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on September 15, 2012.
The lawmakers said that any unsolicited advertisement cannot be a crime if:
1. there is a “prior affirmative consent from the recipient”;
2. “the primary intent of the communication is for service and/or administrative announcements from the sender to its existing users, subscribers or customers”; or
3. “the commercial electronic communication contains a simple, valid and reliable way for the recipient to reject receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from the same source”; “the commercial electronic communication does no purposely disguise the source of the electronic message”; and “the commercial electronic communication does not purposely include misleading information in any part of the message in order to induce the recipients to read the message.”
Primarily, there is no such a thing as advertisement that is solicited. No listener or observer can solicit something he or she does not know. If there is no such a thing as a solicited advertisement, then there is no such a thing as an “unsolicited advertisement.”
The reason advertisement is called advertisement is because the purpose is to let others know of it or others to be aware of it in order for the content or the message therein to be implanted in the subliminal mind of all persons who may have seen or observed the advertisement frequently or several times.
Any Facebook user, for instance, will always notice on the sides advertisements posted by FB. For sure, no FB user has given prior approval for these advertisements to appear on his or her wall. Can we now punish those who advertised by paying to FB just because not one Filipino FB user has approved of it?
In my experience as a Facebook addict, it is ordinary for me to see on my wall, on the walls of my various groups and pages to see friends’ advertisements such as houses, cellular phones and others. Since these advertisements were posted on groups’ walls, does it mean to say that those who posted these are criminals? Yes, if we follow the letter of the new law signed on September 15, 2012 by President P-Noy.
Having explained the illogic in this law, is it now okay to call this crime as “impossible crime”?