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Philippine Cybercrime Law Put On Indefinite Hold

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the knowing-better-than-canada dept.

Censorship 70

An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court of the Philippines has put an indefinite hold on a controversial law that would, among other things, ban cybersex and porn. A host of groups, particularly journalists, had resoundingly criticized the law, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, as broad and out of touch with how the Internet works. The Philippines' National Union of Journalists, for example, called its definition of libel 'a threat not only against the media and other communicators but anyone in the general public who has access to a computer and the Internet.'"

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A victory for the people! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875147)

But what the Philippines needs is COMMUNISM via international socialist revolution! For the unconditional military defense of China bureaucratically deformed workers state!

I can't join the free speech religion. (2, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875225)

Porn isn't speech, bit torrent downloads aren't speech, and cybersex isn't speech.

Speech was originally intended to protect political and social commentary. That is of value to society. Porn, piracy and cybersex are not. We can survive just fine without them.

I realize this is an unpopular opinion on the internet, because (a) the internet has a daytime TV audience since September 1996 and (b) people like to believe their lives have meaning when they're crusading for "freedom" of some kind, even though they're just pushing out bytes on a screen on social media sites.

However, I think we need to stop worrying about what they do in other countries. We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life. We also have zero proof that banning it leads to banning of actual speech, i.e. political/social commentary.

Unfortunately these debates always become so emotional that soon it's children screaming at anyone who endorses anything but "do whatever you want, wherever and whenever, without consequences."

It's like a religion, but not an interesting or creative one. It's very much about the ego and not at all about the sacred. The sacred might emphasize a purpose in life beyond freedom/porn/cybersex, and it seems most people fear that, even if in non-religious form.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (5, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875281)

Cybersex IS speech, and porn is art (however far from fine art it is). When you consider how very central sexuality and control of sexuality has been to the political process across the globe, it doesn't make any sense to attempt to cast them as otherwise.

The thing about free speech is, we don't need proof it leads to a better way of life. That's a strict standard to apply to sexuality and communication. Maybe some speech (speech being expression) society does find distasteful as a whole. Is that a reason to ban it? Is that a reason to insist it isn't even expression?

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875383)

Two people doing it in front of a camera is no more "art" than me sitting at my computer typing ... in front of a camera is "art". We need to redefine what "art" is in the age of ubiquitous cameras.

I can see it now, the Sherrif's officers who beat Rodney King ... "Performance Art" ... because it was done on camera!

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875563)

Nothing particularly requires that 'performance art' only include things that are legal and/or unobjectionable. However, punishing people for doing things that are illegal for other reasons during the course of producing 'art' is not generally considered to be a restriction on freedom of speech, any more than the illegality of sacrificing babies to satan is considered an infringement on religious freedom...

There are some edge cases that get tricky(mostly on the side of people totally incidentally banning things that are required for speech or religions they don't like); but it isn't a terribly difficult conceptual distinction. Banning a speech act as such is a clear infringement of speech rights; but that doesn't confer any immunity from any other relevant laws on the speaker, should their speech involve breaching them.

The dark lord walks among us (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885845)

However, punishing people for doing things that are illegal for other reasons during the course of producing 'art' is not generally considered to be a restriction on freedom of speech, any more than the illegality of sacrificing babies to satan is considered an infringement on religious freedom...

True; Satanism is not banned, but occult sacrifice of babies is because it's murder (unless they're still in the womb, in which case it's Satanic ritual abortion, which sounds like it would really upset someone). I think the question of speech however is a question of what speech adds to society. Does it contribute new information? Or is it for the purposes of self-gratification and/or profit? If it's the former, I support defending it, because no matter how unpopular it is, we need to hear it. If it's the latter, well, who really cares?

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (3, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875591)

Ahhh .... I'll know it when I see it [wikipedia.org] .

Fortunately, case law has established the criteria for what can't qualify:

The Miller case established what came to be known as the Miller Standard, which clearly articulated that three criteria must be met for a work to be legitimately subject to state regulations. The Court recognized the inherent risk in legislating what constitutes obscenity, and necessarily limited the scope of the criteria. The criteria were:
1) The average person, applying local community standards, looking at the work in its entirety, appeals to the prurient interest.
2) The work must describe or depict, in an obviously offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions.
3) The work as a whole must lack "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific values".

So you'd need to prove that those two people doing it in front of a camera is all of the above, and some of those are very subjective.

The problem with deciding one kind of 'speech' is free and one isn't is sooner or later someone comes to arrest you for suggesting that Geroge Bush resembled a monkey [about.com] .

You can't be for free speech but then decide there's parts of it you wish would go away -- I defend the right of someone to take a shit on a sheet and call it art. I don't get it, and I'm not interested in it, but I'm not going to appoint myself or anybody else to be the arbiter of what we should and shouldn't say. And you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad, or you're setting yourself up for a situation in which one group or another gets to define 'art', 'obscene', and things you're allowed to say.

Which is why the loons from Westboro Church are still around.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875927)

I agree for the most part, but you can't possibly call everything art, let them take a shit, but keep the bar level, don't call it art, just because something's legal doesn't make it moral, or pleasant. Rub their shit in their faces if they don't know any better and the problem will resolve itself, don't outlaw it, or call it art.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42879037)

What is and is not art is 100% subjective.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42901987)

Then why do people insist that if THEY call it "art" it must be "art". And if I call it "Not Art", I'm a douche bag wanting to "censor" "free speech" ?

You can't say "art" is 100% subjective, and then say something is "art" with any sort of difinitive statements.

To me, art is easily defined this way: Requires skill, finese, aesthetics, flair, talent and nuance.

The sad thing is, by lowering the bar on what "art" is, we devalue the true works of art. And we are diminished for it.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42884959)

I agree for the most part, but you can't possibly call everything art, let them take a shit, but keep the bar level, don't call it art, just because something's legal doesn't make it moral, or pleasant. Rub their shit in their faces if they don't know any better and the problem will resolve itself, don't outlaw it, or call it art.

Oh, you're a performanceartist!

The excluded converse (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885887)

And yet:

I defend the right of someone to take a shit on a sheet and call it art. I don't get it, and I'm not interested in it, but I'm not going to appoint myself or anybody else to be the arbiter of what we should and shouldn't say. And you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad, or you're setting yourself up for a situation in which one group or another gets to define 'art', 'obscene', and things you're allowed to say.

You are defining art.

You have precluded anyone in this society from raising the standard of art above "anything goes," and initiating the kind of artistic revival movement that happened centuries ago.

"Anything goes" is as limiting as any other definition of art. It's just more permissive, which basically drowns the art world in junk and excludes quality, as history shows us.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875617)

Who gets to say what is or isn't art?

I can just tell isn't sufficient.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875883)

I can see it now, the Sherrif's officers who beat Rodney King ... "Performance Art" ... because it was done on camera!

So what are you saying? That it's not art?

If it's not art, then should the government be able to forbid the public from seeing its employees beat people?

I'm all for declaring beating Rodney King to be NOT art AND declaring that the government should NOT be able to ban people from seeing it because the entire concept of "art is speech" is COMPLETELY WRONG.

But yeah, I guess if you've got a hardon for keeping people from seeing two people doing it in front of a camera, you've got to draw a line somewhere, to hell with everyone on the other side of that line.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42902059)

Look, I never said that porn should be or shouldn't be legal. All I said was it wasn't art. Making a movie a cell mytosis isn't art either. Me saying something isn't art doesn't really equate to "banning", except to demented people.

what is art? (3, Informative)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876095)

re: is no more "art" than me sitting at my computer typing ...
.
counter-evidence: Andy Warhol and his "movies":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol_filmography [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Factory#Films

Re:what is art? (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885327)

This is what my soup can comment referred to :)

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42877519)

Just because you don't consider it art doesn't mean you are correct. i once saw an art piece where a guy sat watching TV with a shotgun pointed at his head, there was a timer that was supposed to go off sometime between than and the year 2000 I believe, its been awhile. Now some would just call that insane or stupid, but many others saw it as a comment on our culture of violence and media.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881557)

Im willing to bet an artist has done a portrait of a guy sitting in front of his computer. It's more arr then a picture/painting of a soup can. Look it up if you dont get the soup can reference.

What is art? (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885817)

We need to redefine what "art" is in the age of ubiquitous cameras.

I think art is that which has artistic intent and artistic effect.

Porn is more like a product, in that it's roughly fungible and is consumed without particular regard for message, only a vague notion of "quality."

It communicates nothing.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875531)

People in Western countries always want to force their views on foreign cultures that may very well have different ideas. But of course the Great White Man is most always thinking correctly in a universal way...

I suspect this case in the Philippines has at least a significant element of cash money associated with the Sex Trade and powerful Filipinos involved in local and international sex trade including (gasp) Internet porn...

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42885363)

Yeah, who cares? We should have just let Hitler do as he pleased. Different country, after all.

Interesting responses. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885801)

Some interesting responses in this thread. 18 of them. I don't know if I can reply to all of them or even many.

Cybersex IS speech, and porn is art (however far from fine art it is).

What's the reasoning behind this? Cybersex is people typing words, but that doesn't make it speech for the purposes of free speech. Neither is there any reason to support that porn is "art." Porn is a product like a Big Mac, except instead of sugared bread and soya-meat there's dongs.

When you consider how very central sexuality and control of sexuality has been to the political process across the globe, it doesn't make any sense to attempt to cast them as otherwise.

The thing about free speech is, we don't need proof it leads to a better way of life.

Here's more assumptions with no logic behind them.

Control of sexuality and free speech are both contingent upon their effects, like all other policy choices.

If you're going to make a deontological argument, you're going to have to argue for some moral superiority of these things, which in an atheistic pluralism has no inherency.

That leaves you with arguing for their utility, and I await your doing that.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (4, Insightful)

matthiasvegh (1800634) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875291)

If a government (or any other body) can disable sites/remove content at will for _any_ justification without due process, the same can be done for content that was not originally covered by the law. i.e.: political site, shut it down because it had porn on it. (regardless of whether or not there actually was any on the site). The problem with bans against subsets of speech is not that the actual subsets are considered to be valuable, but because the vagueness of what is considered pornographic means lawyers can just slap it on to anything.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875331)

(_i_)

That's ASCII art of a woman bending over.

Shut down Slashdot immediately.

different decryption yields danger, will robinson! (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876111)

re : (_i_)
That's ASCII art of a woman bending over.

.
No, that was a very well encoded and compressed version of Scientology's inner doctrine about the ascent into being an Operating Thetan, and all about Xenu. Shut down /. immediately. ;>)
.
different decryption yields danger, will robinson!

Nonsense. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885935)

The problem with bans against subsets of speech is not that the actual subsets are considered to be valuable, but because the vagueness of what is considered pornographic means lawyers can just slap it on to anything.

What political speech do you think is going to be categorized as pornography? Even in very conservative jurisdictions in the past, such decisions have been overthrown (I'm thinking of the Ulysses and Naked Lunch cases).

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875353)

We have 'zero proof' that building legal and technical mechanisms suitable for the suppression of a given flavor of content leads to the use of those mechanisms being used for the suppression of other flavors, sometimes including your 'actual speech' category? Srsly?

Mission creep is a well known phenomenon, and it's both easily historically observable that people's descriptions of political and social commentary they don't like frequently ends up tinged with the same vocabulary of condemnation as that used for porn('that's obscene' actually means that that includes some sordid fucking surprisingly infrequently).

On the architectural side, technical and legal mechanisms for efficient content takedowns are virtually content-agnostic. Blacklists, wordlist filters, DMCA takedown forms, any of those can be trivially re-targeted just by dropping some new parameters in to the configuration.

Lest this be dismissed as theoretical, observe the Russian experiment [economist.com] .

As for the babble about 'meaning' and 'the sacred', I'm just going to have to admit complete bafflement about what you are talking about.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876697)

As for the babble about 'meaning' and 'the sacred', I'm just going to have to admit complete bafflement about what you are talking about.

I'll try to explain what the OP meant by this or at least what people who use those terms usually mean by using them in this way. The idea is more or less that there are two kinds of freedom, one that's based on your emotions and another that's based on your reasoning, and that the former is easier to the person and detrimental to the latter, and in reality not really freedom (think Star Wars' dark side vs. light side). So, from restrictive religions' perspective, the behavioral restrictions they place on the former is a means for an end: that of increasing the later. It's kind of like metric poetry: by restricting how you express yourself it more or less frees you to become more creative on what you express.

I've studied comparative religions enough to know the above concept has merit given the results on some quite extraordinary individuals out there, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's universally valid. This kind of thing tends to have a statistical nature and to be shaped in a Bell curve. Some religions do recognize this and go to the point of providing spiritual exercises that turn things around by making some of the most emotional stuff, crazy sex included, into the mandatory practice, such as Buddhism with its "Tantra" and Hinduism with its "Raja Yoga".

End result: each case is a case, as usual.

Excellent explanation. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885987)

So, from restrictive religions' perspective, the behavioral restrictions they place on the former is a means for an end: that of increasing the lat[t]er. It's kind of like metric poetry: by restricting how you express yourself it more or less frees you to become more creative on what you express.

In other words, it enhances quality where permissiveness increases quantity. Great definition; thanks for adding it.

You're babbling. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42885957)

Mission creep is a well known phenomenon, and it's both easily historically observable that people's descriptions of political and social commentary they don't like frequently ends up tinged with the same vocabulary of condemnation as that used for porn

You have made a comparison, but not shown a continuity. This is an implementation of slippery slope that most would consider a fallacy.

They use the same language to describe anything they don't like or find disgusting. It does not mean the same mechanism will be applied.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875395)

Porn isn't speech, bit torrent downloads aren't speech, and cybersex isn't speech.

You're a fucking idiot.

The courts (assuming you're talking about America) have repeatedly upheld porn as protected speech.

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life.

The test for free speech isn't a better way of life, but it's intended to prevent assholes like you from telling other people what they can and can't do.

It's very much about the ego and not at all about the sacred

Fuck the sacred, fuck your god, fuck Allah, fuck Buddha, fuck Jesus, fuck Mohammed, fuck Cthulu, fuck the Flying Spaghetti Monster, fuck all of them if it means douchebags like you think you get to control what other people do.

Go beat your wife or rape your kids or whatever you idiots do.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875537)

While the delivery is inflamatory, this AC's message deserves an upmod. "Freedom of speech" covers all forms of expression and media. The minute you allow the censorship of a form or subject matter, you're on the slippery slope.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880215)

fuck Cthulu

Woah. WOAH. Come on man...he'll hear you. Do you really want that?

Hypocrite. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42886001)

it's intended to prevent assholes like you from telling other people what they can and can't do

You're telling me what I can and can't do.

According to you, I can't live in a society with any standards.

Thus I'm doomed to ride the river of mediocrity into Idiocracy with fools like yourself who can't tell the difference.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875475)

Speech was originally intended to protect political and social commentary. That is of value to society. Porn, piracy and cybersex are not. We can survive just fine without them.

Things evolve, and the definition of 'speech' as evolved with them.
- Is typing something speech?
- Is typing something into a chat window?
- Is typing something into a word processor window?
- Is typing something about sex?
- Is typing something about sex into a chat window?
- Is typing something about sex into a word processor window?

I don't need to list all the options. If saying it in person is considered 'speech' then typing it and transmitting it to someone, or some website, is too. If speech as 'only sound' then the deaf would not have the same rights as others.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875627)

The problem is that we have no proof either way.

A married couple has to spend several months apart in separate countries. Does cybersex help prevent infidelity? Does porn increase it? Or the complete opposite of both?

A man is alone and out-casted from the people around him. Does cybersex and porn help him cope and decrease suicide or increase it? Does it increase rape through aggressive sexual porn acts or decrease it by providing an outlet of release?

Or a more romanticized view, does cybersex form an emotional bond between 2 people 1000s of miles away that would otherwise not form? Creating a marriage and bond of love for a lifetime? Or do new "techniques" in porn teach a man/woman a valuable skill that allows them to satisfy his/her lover better?

Or does cybersex and porn actually turn people into monsters? In the end, we don't have enough data and research, and even if we did, it could only apply for a small subset culture and people. We can't base our views on sample sizes in the 100s or less. Everyone is different.

As long as it doesn't directly hurt someone, should we ban it simply because we may think it will indirectly hurt someone? Freedoms in certain regards can cause all new revolutions. Even a sexual revolution can completely change outlooks in politics, spirituality, art/music, etc. Having said all of this, it is also a freedom of the country's people to ban it.

It is a very debatable topic and one without a black and white answer IMHO.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875691)

Ahh, right, so it's only speech that you like that gets protected. Now, is it you only who can make this decision, or does it include people who think like you? Hey, maybe we should just all vote on what's protected and what isn't! That way, there's no way that a majority viewpoint would ever be used to oppress a minority!

Really Captcha? "Mooned"?

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875725)

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life. We also have zero proof that banning it leads to banning of actual speech, i.e. political/social commentary.

That's not how rights work. It's not up to me to prove that my freedom is better, it's up to you to prove why our freedoms are bad. So bad in fact, that we should be stripped of them.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875795)

So, because porn & cybersex aren't free speech, go ahead and ban them? It's not the free speech argument that's at stake here, but the government overstepping its part into people's lives, however far away those people may be.

You refer to the eternal September, implying age, so what if I was the government and told you you can't have sex with your wife unless it's to conceive a child, cause it's immoral and a sin? Suddenly, the fights at your door and it's personal, same concept, related to you.

Who's the government to tell you you can't have sex with your wife, and who are they to tell you what you can, or can't look at as long as it's consensual?

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875909)

Speak for yourself. I can't live without porn.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876129)

Oh no, you're a victim of the "free speech religion" because of your unpopular opinion. In the name of Yahweh (aka Yaoi), I curse at thee.

If porn, copied 0s, 1s, and cybersex are of no value to society, why does any country need to ban it? People can moderate their own activities.

The real story is that the Philippines is not a great place for the media and the government can't be trusted: Philippines ranked 140th in Press Freedom Index [cmfr-phil.org] (warning: free speech religious bias)

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (2)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876677)

We can survive just fine without them.

if you are going to start listing things we have and can buy that aren't required for survival, it's going to be a long list.

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life.

do you have proof that washing dishes leads to a better way of life? how about digging ditches? do you have proof that cybersex leads to a worse way of life?

Unfortunately these debates always become so emotional that soon it's children screaming at anyone who endorses anything but "do whatever you want, wherever and whenever, without consequences."

sex is a natural thing. cybersex may seem perverted to some but i'd have to think that it results is less problems than engaging in real sex. there are no STDs, no rape, and so on. the party providing the cybersex is being compensated for their time. as long as they are not being forced to work, i can't see the problem.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42877013)

I don't see any reason to forbid cybersex at all. What's the point? Whose live gets improved if cybersex is generally outlawed? Who profits?
For me, this is not primarily a speech issue, it's more an issue of Why anyway?
People will have sex together with whatever means are available. If they can't touch each other, they will invent other ways. Once they wrote arousing mails, then they phoned each other and talked dirty. And now they are using the Internet. Why would one ever think that outlawing people talking about sex will in any way improve someone's live? A law that tries to forbid something so fundamentally human as an erotic talk is just plain silly. Whoever had the idea shows to be completely disconnected from any human reality.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42877043)

I think Michelangelo was pervy, do I get to ban him? I don't honestly care for any art with guy's junk hanging out, can we ban that too? You DO realize that most of what is considered art now was labeled as controversial and even smut in its own time? Fleurs de Mal was banned in several countries and heavily censored in others, same with Lady Chatterley's Lover.

The point is just because i don't like something does NOT give me the right to destroy it or bury it where others can not see, and just because i stick a letter D or R behind my name and sling enough bullshit to get into a public office doesn't magically give me a better understanding. Lets take one the right had a living shitfit over, Robert Mapplethorpe. Many labeled his work as smut and filth, many probably still do. while i may not care for most of his work I at least have enough common sense to look at the broader context and the time in which he lived. he was a gay man in the 70s and 80s, a time when outright hatred of gays was practically the law, the right wing administration originally labeled AIDS as GRID, remember? so they wouldn't have to give any money towards a cure? So no shit he was probably bitter and fucking angry at how he was treated and that should be taken into consideration.

at the end of the day I go by the words of one of the wisest men i had the privilege to know, my grandfather. I asked when the Illinois Nazis were demanding to march if he would ban then, figuring he'd say "hell yes!". after all this was a man who had faced the PAK 88 in France and ended the war in a full body cast after one of the rag tag Werewulf squads dropped a wall on him and his buddies, two of whom didn't survive. To my shock he said we should support 100% their rights to say and do as they pleased, no matter how ugly as long as they didn't hurt anybody else. He said "That is what makes us different from them" and explained how important freedom of speech was and how we didn't need to protect popular speech, after all too many agree with it hence its popular. its the unpopular things we need to protect, because if the Illinois Nazis were silenced today, who is to say that we wouldn't be the ones silenced tomorrow?

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42879105)

Porn isn't speech, bit torrent downloads aren't speech, and cybersex isn't speech.

Is your comment speech? Data isn't, apparently. Some of those are more so expression than speech.

Speech was originally intended to protect political and social commentary.

I'd say a government that protects political speech but freely bans everything else is not only a government that is not for the people, but one that people should actively oppose.

Porn, piracy and cybersex are not.

You don't get to decide that by yourself.

We can survive just fine without them.

We can survive just fine without a lot of things. Your comment, for example. Hell, we could survive without political speech being practically unrestricted!

However, I think we need to stop worrying about what they do in other countries.

If I see something that I believe is a government abuse of power, I'm certainly not going to think it's okay just because another government is the one doing it.

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life.

It doesn't matter to me if they do or don't.

We also have zero proof that banning it leads to banning of actual speech

Who cares whether it does or doesn't? The point is that people think banning it is bad by itself.

Unfortunately these debates always become so emotional that soon it's children screaming at anyone who endorses anything but "do whatever you want, wherever and whenever, without consequences."

That seems to be a straw man.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880807)

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life.

We do however have pretty good proof that legal porn leads to fewer rapes. As for the "better way of life", I think we should let the rape victims decide that part.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881539)

I know you're an idiot because you said "just bytes" as if what they contain is irrelevent. Thats like saying its okay to kill humans because we're really just a bunch of worthless molecules right? Can I hop on your online banking accounts and empty them? Just bytes right? Cybersex is strictly writing to each other. How is that not speech (dont say the obvious thing)? Porn has value to society. Its called sexual gratification. I know if im alone, and it's 3am, and im worked up...a good ol porn tug is very satisfying. I would be a lot easier person to deal with if others were around. So wait if I write a book or article should it have to be approved as "having value?" Im sure those committees wouldnt get corrupted. Of course it's like a religion its a cultural belief. In most instances I agree we shouldnt mettle in others' affairs. However in any instance that it could affect US we need to. Formatting is probably gone because the S2 and slashdot app dont get along.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (1)

yenot (669123) | about a year and a half ago | (#42883823)

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life.

You have the burden of proof backwards. In a free society, you don't regulate everything and then make exceptions. If you're going to limit the freedoms of others, you need proof that the actions being limited create negative externalities (negative consequences for 3rd parties).

We also have zero proof that banning it leads to banning of actual speech, i.e. political/social commentary.

There's plenty of historical proof that people in power will use available resources to maintain power. The infrastructure needed to censor porn on the Internet is the same infrastructure needed to censor political commentary.

The sacred might emphasize a purpose in life beyond freedom/porn/cybersex, and it seems most people fear that, even if in non-religious form.

Freedom is "sacred" in that it allows people to find their own individual purpose in life. The freedom to succeed where others didn't believe, and the freedom to fail (i.e. the consequences you said you want people to have).

Not thinking very clearly. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42886031)

There's plenty of historical proof that people in power will use available resources to maintain power.

I was wondering if someone would walk into this one.

What evidence do you have that free speech and permissiveness are not available resources being used to maintain power?

Ah.

Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42887093)

Actually, I just don't want what I use the internet for to become illegal. The internet is probably the most useful current resource to mankind, and unfortunately agreeing with fanatics is the only way I know of to protect the usage I have become accustomed to.
I also would like the same laws governing the physical world to be relaxed so that I can feel free to use the real world the same way.

All About Cash-ola (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875473)

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has put an indefinite hold on a controversial law that would, among other things, ban cybersex and porn.

Lots of money in "cybersex and porn" in the Philippines...

Re:All About Cash-ola (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875663)

Lots of money in "sex and porn" in the Philippines...

FTFA. Prostitution is illegal in the Philippines, but nonetheless, it's big business and is practiced in the open (well, the buying and selling is - the various acts are still *usually* practiced in more private venues). For instance: http://www.angelescitybarreviews.com/

Re:All About Cash-ola (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882261)

How else are those hispanic wannabe asians supposed to earn a living. Why would anyone visit that shithole otherwise? Can't pick pocket non existant tourists...

Is there a lawyer in the house? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875489)

What does ''... for favor or consideration" mean, exactly?

Re:Is there a lawyer in the house? (2)

Spectre (1685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875787)

Compensation. Not necessarily money, but something-done-for-something-gained type of exchange.

They are trying to ban situations like: "You can live here rent free, but you will need to do a perform in my webcam shows on Friday evenings".
The performance is being done for the favor of living in the spare room (which is a "valuable consideration" in legal terms ... something with a non-zero financial consequence).

Disclaimer: Not a lawyer, not familiar with law in the Philippines. Do not consider the comments herein as legal advice.

Re:Is there a lawyer in the house? (1)

Spectre (1685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875811)

s/perform/performance/

Yes, I know, "Preview" is required before "Submit" for a reason.

Re:Is there a lawyer in the house? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875975)

Yeah.... IMO, it would help immensely if the preview and submit buttons weren't immediately beside eachother. I've accidentally hit submit when I meant preview so many times I've lost count.

Well intentioned but poorly implemented (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875533)

The Philippines apparently has a huge problem with child pornography. Dirt bags the world over go there to take advantage of young children from mostly very poor families. The government tried to pass a law to punish those producing and consuming child pornography but went a little too far with some of the broad definitions they put in place. One of those definitions was around "slander". Personally I think the government was going in the right direction just too far on the slander bit. Hopefully they can come up with something that is stiff tough but more fair to the general population.

Re:Well intentioned but poorly implemented (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876047)

If their motives were so pure, they might have considered passing a law to deal with kiddy porn and child rape(which would now be in effect) rather than tying action on that issue to successfully ramming through a variety of much more dangerous and ill-considered changes(because of which they now don't have any progress on the issue).

Tackling serious issues is a good thing; but tying them to getting your way on much more controversial(or simply frivolous) issues is about as overt a sign of bad faith as you can exhibit...

Re:Well intentioned but poorly implemented (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878639)

If their motives were so pure, they might have considered passing a law to deal with kiddy porn and child rape(which would now be in effect) rather than tying action on that issue to successfully ramming through a variety of much more dangerous and ill-considered changes(because of which they now don't have any progress on the issue).

If it were only that simple,

The Philippines is a very, very devout catholic nation, doing things "for god" is as good as "for the children" and the two excuses are interchangeable by two (sometimes even three or four) faced politicians, so such laws can easily be co-opted in the name of the public morality (under God). If you think politics in western nations is screwed up, wait until you try to understand the politics of Asian nations.

Something tells me that this was squashed by the PNP (Police) and NBI (Filipino FBI) when they found out the law would require them to do some work and wouldn't have much of a payday. In fact quite the opposite, all the "sex cam" site operators pay a bit of cash to the local PNP and mayors office on a regular basis. This law would get between quite a few Filipino's and their money (a big no-no if you've never been to the Philippines).

Re:Well intentioned but poorly implemented (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42882973)

Yes you make a good point about the corruption in the Philippines. The new president has tried to institute some changes but the problem is that it's top to bottom. Everyone is on the take there. Bribes, big and small, are the lubricant of the Philippine economy. It's simply how you get things done. So it will be very difficult to unravel. Part of the problem is that people on the lower end (police, government workers, etc.) are paid a very low salary. They look at a bribe the same way we would look at a bonus. When faced with the choice of not taking a bribe or feeding your family it's no longer a morality call. You take the bribe.

At the higher end, Philippine politics are dominated by a handful of very powerful families. Marcos, Lopez, Aquino, Tan, Ayala...those are a few of them. These families own vast amounts of land and control virtually every facet of the economy. They are also deeply embedded in the political structure. Their goal is to pass laws to keep themselves, and their families, in power. It's one of the main reasons that the poverty level has stayed the same for so many years.

Having visited the Philippines I can say that, for a Westerner, it is virtually impossible to imagine the gap between rich and poor in that country without seeing it first hand. At the high end there are people driving bullet proof Rolls Royces living in walled mansions. At the low end are people living on a dollar a day, or less. Over there you are either very rich or very poor, with very little in between. That is changing a bit now with a middle class emerging but there is still an enormous amount of poverty.

Too bad (3, Interesting)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875553)

Anyone who knows, most of the sex cam sites house nothing but scammers from the Philippines. I use to investigate this, there have been too many people foolish enough to send money (mostly to Filipino transsexuals) to these people. 9/10 are there for the sole purpose of telling you their Mom, Dad etc are Ill and in need of money.

It's mostly lonely men that fall for this and begin so called 'long-distance' relationships that involve monthly 'help' in the form of money. Not always, but sometimes it ends with money for travel to your country to meet you; incidentally, they never show and are normally not seen again. Russia, as of 2012 was the #1 Scam country with the Philippines riding close behind.

Some of you probably know all about this and have been a victim. There are sites popping up all the time that have support forums for victims scammed by Filipinos. I myself am knee deep in documents and files from both Scammers and Victims. If it's any help, you can find them at many popular cam sites, there are several ways they scam, sometimes they want shows in Skype, you pay by Paypal etc but the show you get will not be what you paid for, and/or they will disappear. Other times it's the fake Boyfriend scam, you think you are in a relationship, but you are the 'Bank' for them and their Filipino counterpart.

You get the Idea. Anyway, this Bill, however bad it may be; would have helped put a stop to this. Scammers win.

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

It's the tripnaut! (687402) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876193)

Anyway, this Bill, however bad it may be; would have helped put a stop to this.


At the cost of putting a stop to free speech. Under this law, every negative comment online (e.g. twitter, facebook) can be loosely interpreted as slander by an aggrieved party.

Re:Too bad (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876477)

You get the Idea. Anyway, this Bill, however bad it may be; would have helped put a stop to this. Scammers win.

Sorry no law is worth that. It's a baby out with the bathwater argument. The real problem is that the filipino police are in no shape or state to deal with these crimes either. The other part is that large swaths of the filipino police are corrupt. They're still stuck in 1985 mode still. I've had long running discussions over this with my ex-GF(who was filipino) and her family over this, and generally the only way that this will get fixed is when the country as a whole gets their shit in order. It's difficult enough for the "rich-elites" to get businesses up and running these days and people employed. Her family is very well off, and employs somewhere around 90k people. But it's bribe here, bribe there, grease palms here, watch out for that "inspection" there.

Then we get into the US government and their "placate terrorists" mentality in the Philippines, where businesses then get stuck paying money so things "don't happen."

It's a mess.

Re:Too bad (2)

Fulminata (999320) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876573)

Most of the sex cam sites house nothing but women trying to make a living. Some of them do indeed claim more hardship than they actually have in order to entice western men to send them even more money than they already paid for the sex show (usually around $1 a minute, of which the women get 25 to 50 cents at most).

Western men who get "scammed" this way are usually out a couple hundred bucks at the very most. Women legitimately looking for a husband who get scammed by western men just looking for sex often find themselves having lost their virginity in a Catholic country where that is still incredibly important.

The alternative to sex cam sites for these women is often actual prostitution. A far more dangerous occupation. It's telling that the penalties under this law were an order of magnitude higher for sex cam work than they are for prostitution. Makes you wonder what the real agenda for the law's backers was?

"sometimes they want shows in Skype, you pay by Paypal etc but the show you get will not be what you paid for"

Really? Let me guess, you paid for the girl to have sex with her underage sister, and all she did was show you her tits? Cry me a river. Most of these women are from the poorest families in a poor country. Making their quota on cam can determine whether or not they eat that day. If you're so worried about getting your money's worth, then just stick to the main sites rather than setting up private shows on Skype.

I'd like to see these women have better alternatives to working the cam sites, not forced to go into even more degrading work because the law created outrageous penalties.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42882237)

What do you expect from the nation of rats known as philipinos. When your number one export is cleaning ladies who rob you...

Oldest political tactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876055)

When your masters want to bring in draconian laws, they have their people draw up even MORE outrageous proposals which they present to parliament. When the expected backlash occurs, they "think again" and introduce the original draconian legislation they wanted in the first place. WORSE, by doing so they also say "see, this proves we listen to what the people want".

BTW- the Philippines are, to all intent and purposes, a colony of the USA, and these proposed attacks on Internet freedoms were drafted by Americans in the employ of the US government. What team Obama could never get passed the Houses of Congress or the US public, they instead impose on the people of 'lesser' servile nations. The idea is to use these regimes as 'examples' of ideal Internet regulation later on, when future attempts are made to clamp down in the USA.

Understand. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42880587)

Slashdot is not a community opposed to pornography. Be honest: A lot of you enjoy it. I'll freely admit myself to frequently engaging in sexual roleplay online. It's a lot of fun. Because of this though, a lot of us have no understanding of the other side of the debate. All we see is a caricature screaming 'sex is evil!' I don't know anything about the philippines, but in the interests of fairness, here is the official stance of one of the leading American anti-pornography organisations:

"Pornography has spread like a plague in our nation. It has moved from the margins of our culture to the mainstream, attacking marriages, families, and communities. Worst of all, it has stolen a time of innocence from our children. ... Pornography is a visual representation of sexuality which distorts an individual's concept of the nature of conjugal relations. This, in turn, alters both sexual attitudes and behavior. It is a major threat to marriage, to family, to children and to individual happiness. In undermining marriage it is one of the factors in undermining social stability. ... Pornography use is a pathway to infidelity and divorce, and is frequently a major factor in these family disasters. Among couples affected by one spouse's addiction, two-thirds experience a loss of interest in sexual intercourse. Men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity. Pornography engenders greater sexual permissiveness, which in turn leads to a greater risk of out-of-wedlock births and STDs. These, in turn, lead to still more weaknesses and debilities. Child-sex offenders are more likely to view pornography regularly or to be involved in its distribution. he presence of sexually oriented businesses significantly harms the surrounding community, leading to increases in crime and decreases in property values."

On second thoughts... no, the caricature is about right. I was hoping to find some more depth on their site to quote so that slashdot could pick apart their arguments, but they don't really have any. Just scaremongering. I especially like how they claim in one part that pornography ruins marriages by making men not want sex, and in another part that it claims that pornography makes men have more casual sex leading to STIs and out-of-wedlock births. Then they have to drag out talk of child pornography, the atomic bomb of debate. So go ahead, make fun of them. They deserve it.

I'm going to look at porn now.

morality, politics, power and censorship (1)

someonestolecc (1038714) | about a year and a half ago | (#42881929)

There's some morality stuff going on here. If you've ever been here you'll know that movies are re-edited and sanitised, swearing is censored and all that. Which is amazingly weird since the females are generally quite hot... This will be mostly political. You can go to prison here for "offending the church" etc.
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