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Senators back SIM card registration bill with provision to keep trolls out

The Senate approved on third and final reading a bill requiring the registration of all SIM cards in the country.
File photo of a SIM card

Senate OKs SIM card registration

Voting 21-0-0, senators passed Senate Bill No. 2395 or the proposed SIM Card Registration Act. The measure has a provision that would mandate social media platforms to require "real-name and phone number upon creation of account" as part of efforts to defeat trolls online.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was the first to introduce the provision, floating the idea that trolls may soon slap with up to 12 years imprisonment of a fine of up to PHP 200,000, or both.

Under the bill, SIM card registration will be implemented to "deter the proliferation of SIM card, internet or electronic communication-aided crimes, such as but not limited to terrorism; text scams; unsolicited, indecent or obscene messages; bank fraud; libel; anonymous online defamation; trolling; hate speech, the spread of digital disinformation or fake news."

This new provision will prevent anyone from making anonymous accounts online. We have to cure trolls that are spreading as fast as the virus that we are battling today. Troll is a virus that hides behind anonymity and continues to spread nothing but hatred and disinformation, Drilon said in a statement.

Senator Grace Poe, the sponsor of the bill, said it will provide "another layer of security protection" for Filipinos.

Poe also assured the measure will be implemented "with full regard to our right to privacy".

Dominant telcos Globe and PLDT expressed support for the passage of the bill.

Source: Inquirer

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