If you have seen the film, My Name is Khan, there is the sweeping comparison to which I felt regarding the law which has been recently passed and signed into law, Republic Act 10175 otherwise named as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 which has draw flak from among netizens in the Philippines and other human rights groups. As a blogger, I would lay down my cards in 5 reasons why I vehemently opposed it and categorically state, like the character Mr. Khan, which I am proud to say that my name is Doc Wends and I am not a cyber-terrorist!
- I blog what I see and I write what I feel – just as any other blogger around the Philippines, my blog, Journeys and Travels contains travel anecdotes, tips, guides and posts including photos of places I had been and visited with the aim of inspiring others and making them enjoy life amidst the busy schedule they keep and perhaps, make a contribution to the government’s effort by promoting places which I visited in the Philippines and to affirmatively state that indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines. If blogging and travel writing is a crime, then I am in but that does not make me a cyber-terrorist.
- I have a blog site and a domain name which reflects my personality – As with many bloggers and mostly like bloggers around the world, I bought my own domain name and register it for my travel blog, Journeys and Travels and that has, since 2010, becomes my identity and my cyber personality. That blogsite is not free from comments, referrals as well as likes from my followers, whether they like what I wrote on or they don’t. if they don’t, they shared my insights by sharing their own insights, interjecting their own analysis, far remote from my own and I value them. It enriches my blog and my readers too, it fosters understanding. If having a blogsite and a domain which generates negative reactions from my post regarding places and resorts becomes a crime and government can easily, without court order take it down, on mere prima facie circumstance, then I am in but that does not make me or my followers cyber-terrorists.
- I have a facebook page to LIKE and to share – Like many who are into social networking sites; I maintain a facebook page for my travel blog. That in itself, is used entirely for my travel blog and some insights which I churn out from my mind and how I felt, which my LIKERS also like and share. There were instances I posted commentaries and insights against certain personalities and establishments which I visited in the course of my travels, and of course, like many others, it generates a good number of reactions and shares and likes. If that makes it a crime to like and share whatever I posted on my Facebook page, then I am in but that does not make me or my LIKERS cyber-terrorists.
- I bashed and rant on my twitter too! – Just as an extension of my persona online, I have a twitter which generates followers from not only in the Philippines but from other countries. I have had been ranting against poor services from agencies in government, certain political personalities and services of places I have availed in the past and they re-tweeted my tweet and I replied to their tweets. Just so because I tweeted a personal experience of a poor service and of the unsavory antics of traditional politicians in the Philippines and an ardent advocate of anti-Epal advocacy, will it makes me a cyber-terrorist? I beg to disagree. If there are moments I wanted to relish on the self-imposed limitations as regards the freedom I enjoy which do not impinged on my civil liberties that will be on my own imposition and wisdom. The law, as was crafted imposes the sanction of cyber-libel against us, who ranted about poor services or of epal politicians who made our lives hell, then the law should instead protect us, not harass us into submission to the whims and innuendoes of the agents of government. Yes, I rant and air grievances even on twitter but that does not make me a cyber-terrorist.
- I have taken photos and blogged them – just as many bloggers who wields DSLRs and compact digital cameras on many of their trips, I carry with me camera to document my jaunt. Whatever I captured, no matter how innocent looking or how flamboyant its subjects may be, remains anonymous unless I provided them names and situations. It is what makes my travel blog a work of art for photography need not provide identities of people but lend faces to stories and sorties you captured in your heart and mind. If the photos I captured and posted on my blog, shared on my Facebook page and is tweeted becomes the tool which government uses against me and my blog, then that is not what the law must do for the people to protect them but maliciously harass them into submission yet again. If capturing evidences of corruption, of epal politicians a crime, then as a travel blogger, that does not make me a cyber-terrorist.
As the Supreme Court, in its ruling dated October 9, 2012 which issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and which imposes, among others, the schedule of oral arguments on January 15, 2013. I wanted, as a travel blogger to be heard regarding my position on this rather unfortunate scheme to stifle our civil liberties via its devilish provisions which run contrary to the 1987 Philippine Constitution which explicitly frowns down on attempts to tinker with civil liberties and of freedom of expression, among others.
In this, allow me to say that I am Doc Wends and I am NOT a CYBER-TERRORIST!