Upmewhale Writing Contest Entry: Restricted & Unrestricted Internet - Freedom World (Philippines)



This is my entry for @upmewhale's Writing Contest. :)
I found the topic very interesting because it concerns everyone who uses the Internet in various countries all over the world.

I'm from the Philippines, and I'm going to share information about Internet Restrictions in my country.

Disclaimer: The things that you're about to read are based on the articles I've read as well as my own observation. It might not be as accurate as the real status.




Screenshot from freedomhouse.org



As many of you have noticed, there are a huge number of active Filipino netizens. You get to see them anywhere in the Internet, in any social media possible. Even in Steemit, there are a lot of Filipinos (though our number has decreased drastically, unfortunately).

Accessibility:



Filipinos of all ages can access the Internet quite easily these days. If in the past we need to have Internet connection at home to access the Internet, nowadays you just need a smartphone and you can easily connect through either Wi-Fi or prepaid data.

Free Wi-Fi is available in some public places, though it's not that fast because a lot of people are connected to it at the same time. As for prepaid data, even Php15 ($0.30) can allow you to enjoy 100MB of data and an additional MB for one social media site like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

In case you don't have a smartphone or PC at home, there are a lot of Internet cafes around... there is also a so-called "PisoNet".


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You just insert one peso in the slot, then you can enjoy using the PC and the Internet for 5 minutes. :) Once your 5 minutes is over, the PC automatically turns off. Feel free to add more to extend your usage.


There's one thing to keep in mind though... When there are really big events like huge festivals or some important ceremonies where an enormous number of people gather, access to the Internet is blocked. NOt only the Internet, but also mobile signals. This is to ensure the safety of the people attending the event.


Limitations




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When it comes to limitations especially to the content that we share, we don't really suffer much. We are free to write whatever we want and watch or read whatever we want. However, I have read an article before that Filipinos cannot easily access pornographic sites, but I think there will be ways to access even forbidden sites without getting caught. haha

In my case, I want to play some mobile games which are not available in the Philippines so I downloaded an app which can change my VPN and allow me to download the game that I want to play. Since I was able to do this, I strongly believe that there are ways to access such sites. lol

Despite not being censored on the things that you write, most people especially journalists are careful in what they write. Sadly, there have been crimes which occurred against journalists in the past so they are careful on what they report... be it on the Internet, newspaper, radio or TV.

Human Rights Violation




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It was some time in 2012 when the freedom of speech of Filipinos was at risk. If I remember correctly, there was a proposed law called Cybercrime Law in the Philippines which was clearly a violation of human rights. It became a very huge issue at that time. There were even anonymous organizations who hacked some government websites that time.

I mean, it's OK to go against cybersex or child pornography... but what the law included that time was about online libel which didn't have enough details. There were articles then which says that when a person likes a status on Facebook which is against the government or so, the person who liked the status will also be punished.

It was crazy because the punishment for online libel was even graver that punishment for rape. (Yeah, that was the thing that shocked me that year when I read several articles about the law.)

I believe it was later on revised. Recently, there was a libel case filed against a news website "Rappler", I don't know much about its details though, but I believe the case is still ongoing. But compared to the law proposed in 2012, it's now more defined and detailed so people need not worry much. ;)



Personal Thoughts:



I find the Internet very useful as my job is connected to it. As long as you abide to the law and not hurt others through your posts online, then there'll be no problem.

Do you have Filipino virtual friends? :) What do you think of them? ^^


I'll end my post here. Thank you so much and have a great day! (^_^)


Posted via Marlians.com
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