Sim Card Registration Bill

sim card registration act|sim registration extended:MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed the bill seeking to mandate the registration of all SIM cards and social media accounts in the country, the Palace announced Friday.Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said Duterte vetoed the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, which not only seeks to curb fraud and other crimes aided by SIM cards, but also fight proliferation of online trolls

Andanar said Duterte noted that the inclusion of social media providers in the registration requirement “was not part of the original version of the bill and needs a more thorough study.”Prior versions only mandated the registration of SIM cards,” Andanar said in a statement.

MANILA, Philippines – Citing concerns about free speech and data privacy, President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed a bill that would have required individuals to register their ownership of a SIM card and use their real names when creating social media accounts.

Sim Card Registration Bill

“The President has decided to veto the consolidated Senate Bill No. 2395/House Bill No. 5793, which seeks to mandate the registration of all SIM cards and social media accounts, with the purpose of deterring electronic communication-aided crimes,” Acting Presidential Spokesman and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement on Friday, April 15.

The proposed measure would have required public telecommunication companies to require anyone who wants to buy and use a SIM card to first register their name before the card can be activated. Those who already own a SIM card would be required to register their name with the relevant telco firms in 180 days. Failure to do so would mean deactivation of their SIM card.

The bill would have also required anyone creating a social media account to use their real name and phone number.

2 reasons for veto

Andanar said Duterte objected to a number of provisions, including:

(1) The inclusion of social media providers in the registration requirement, which “was not part of the original version of the bill and needs a more thorough study.” “Prior versions only mandated the registration of SIM cards,” Andanar said in a statement.

(2) “The President similarly found that certain aspects of state intrusion, or the regulation thereof, have not been duly defined, discussed, or threshed out in the enrolled bill, with regard to social media registration,” he added.

Clearer guidelines sought

Andanar said that Duterte “was constrained to disagree” with the inclusion of social media in the measure without providing proper guidelines — saying it may “give rise to a situation of dangerous state intrusion and surveillance threatening many constitutionally protected rights.”

“It is incumbent upon the Office of the President to ensure that any statute is consistent with the demands of the Constitution, such as those which guarantee individual privacy and free speech,” Andanar said.

Bill thrown back to Congress

“This notwithstanding, we ask Congress not to lose heart in passing effective and strengthened measures that offer our citizens a safe and secure online environment, provided that the same would stand judicial scrutiny,” he added.

Under the bill, social media account providers shall require a real name and phone number upon creating an account.

All public telecommunications entities (PTEs) are also required by the Ppoposed bill to register SIM cards as a prerequisite to their sale and activation.

In January, an industry group reported that credit card fraud cases jumped 21% in the Philippines— which they blamed on “SIM card swap” schemes.

Sim Card Registration Bill

The President similarly found that certain aspects of state intrusion, or the regulation thereof, have not been duly defined, discussed, or threshed out in the enrolled bill, with regard to social media registration,” he added.

Andanar said that Duterte “was constrained to disagree” with the inclusion of social media in the measure without providing proper guidelines, saying it may “give rise to a situation of dangerous state intrusion and surveillance threatening many constitutionally protected rightsIt is incumbent upon the Office of the President to ensure that any statute is consistent with the demands of the Constitution, such as those which guarantee individual privacy and free speech,

This notwithstanding, we ask Congress not to lose heart in passing effective and strengthened measures that offer our citizens a safe and secure online environment, provided that the same would stand judicial scrutiny,” he added.The SIM card registration bill also mandates all public telecommunications entities (PTEs) to register SIM cards as a prerequisite to their sale and activation.

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