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Philippine Supreme Court suspends cybercrime law

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 9:16 am •  Published: October 9, 2012

In one of the petitions filed with the court questioning the law's constitutionality, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said it would "set back decades of struggle against the darkness of 'constitutional dictatorship' and replace it with 'cyber authoritarianism.'"

Many Facebook and Twitter users and the portals of media organizations in the Philippines have replaced their profile pictures with black screens to protest the law. Hackers also defaced several government websites in protest.

Renato Reyes, secretary general of the left-wing New Patriotic Alliance, another petitioner, said the court's order was "a major victory for freedom and civil liberties."

Aquino has supported the online libel provision, saying people should be held responsible for their statements. But he has also said he is open to lowering the penalties.

Several legislators, including some who approved the law, have said they will try to amend the law to address civil-rights concerns.