The Philippines Supreme Court blocks controversial cybercrime law. Burmese punk bands rock the Internet. And British Prime Minister David Cameron makes his Twitter debut.
Philippines Supreme Court blocks controversial cybercrime law
On Tuesday, the Philippines Supreme Court suspended implementation of the country’s controversial cybercrime law. A number of petitions, signed by tens of thousands of web users had in fact been submitted to the country’s highest court, seeking to declare the law unconstitutional.
The law which has been vigorously opposed is intended to help the authorities’ combat internet crimes like piracy, identity theft and also child pornography, but it also makes online libel a crime, with a penalty of up to twelve years in prison.
Critics say the system will give the government authority to block access to web sites and monitor online communications traffic without a court ordered warrant. Numerous activists, bloggers and journalists have been campaigning online in recent weeks, against what they consider to be a threat to freedom of expression.
Some are now referring to it as "cyber martial law", alluding to the martial law imposed in the 1970s under the rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Web users have been turning their social media profile pages black to express their opposition.
And although the Supreme Court has put the anti-cybercrime law on hold, activists says they will continue campaigning until it has been repealed. They are also calling for work to begin on drafting a new bill, and for it to be submitted for public consultation.
Burmese punk bands rock the Internet
A punk band wandering around a large shopping center denouncing consumerism, the tyranny of brand names, television … we are not in Tokyo, or in Seoul, we are in Rangoon, in Burma … these YouTube images are from the new video clip released by Burmese punk band No U Turn.
This is not the only Burmese group with an online presence, showcasing a little known Burmese subculture. The local punk rock scene is in fact highly active on the web, with music videos on YouTube, album promotions on Facebook, and above all the sharing of music via listening platforms or specialist sites. It’s a way for these groups that sing in English to make a name for themselves, whilst bypassing the censorship… Groups like Blood Sugar Politik or Rebel Riot, names that express a rejection of government policies; the authorities continue to target them, despite the democratic reforms which began in 2011, after fifty years of military dictatorship.
Rangoon’s underground music scene was established in the years leading up to political reform and continues to grow. And although Burmese punk and rock groups still find it hard to find gigs … they are working on it, by organizing events like the “Common Street Festival” or “Myanmar Woodstock Festival”, events they promote via social media platforms.
And thanks to the Internet some independent rock groups in Burma are starting to get gigs abroad: the group Side effect for example, recently played at a festival in Indonesia.
Spy app can turn smartphones against you
A computer virus that can steal personal information from your telephone, and also spy on your surroundings... this software was developed by US researchers. Once installed, it takes control of your smartphone, and sneakily uses the camera to take images which can be used to recreate a 3D virtual map of your home or office … data that could then be used by ill meaning hackers to hone in on valuable objects or important documents. The software developers hope it will serve as a warning on the dangers of spyware.
Now trending on social networks
He has been always been pretty reluctant, but on Saturday British Prime Minister David Cameron finally took the plunge and joined Twitter. Something that definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed on the micro blogging platform as in the space of just a few days, his account already has over 100 000 followers. But not everyone is necessarily a fan. His arrival on Twitter has unleashed a wave of criticism and insults reflecting his growing unpopularity. Many web users have challenged David Cameron on the austerity measures implemented by his Conservative government.
Video of the day
Light bulbs become paint brushes with a sleepy town as the backdrop … In this video, Finnish artist Anssi Määttä gives a wonderful display of « light painting », a photographic technique which uses light sources to draw in the darkness …