Complain about American Internet legislation like SOPA all you want, but realize that things could always be much worse. Case in point: The Philippines, which CBS News reports has passed a restrictive new set of laws that could let the government sentence people to 12 years in prison simply for “liking” a Facebook (FB) post that has been deemed “libelous.”

The issue, according to Philippine lawmaker Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, is that the law’s sections on libelous Internet speech are so broadly written that it’s not even clear whom should be held responsible for alleged libelous speech posted on social networking sites.

“If you click ‘like,’ you can be sued, and if you share, you can also be sued,” Guingona told CBS News. “Who is liable? It isn’t clear. The one who made the original post? The ones who share? The ones who tweet? Even you, if you post a simple, ‘hehehe,’ right? Does that mean you agree?”

In addition to its provisions on online libel, the law also has provisions that ban or restrict “cybersex,” identity theft, hacking, spamming, and pornography.


Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.