Senate OKs SIM card registration bill with provision to curb trolls | Inquirer News
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Senate OKs SIM card registration bill with provision to curb trolls

/ 01:38 PM December 16, 2021
The Senate on Thursday approved on third and final reading a bill that mandates the ownership registration of all SIM cards in the country.

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MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Thursday approved on third and final reading a bill that mandates the ownership registration of all SIM cards in the country.

Voting 21-0-0, senators passed Senate Bill No. 2395 or the proposed SIM Card Registration Act, which also has a provision that would mandate social media platforms to require “real-name and phone number upon creation of account” in a bid to curb the proliferation of trolls online.

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This provision was earlier introduced by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who said that with his proposal, trolls may soon face penalties of up to 12 years imprisonment or a fine of up to P200,000 or both, along with those who use “fictitious identities” to register their SIM card.

Under the bill, ownership registration of all SIM cards in the country will be mandated in a bid 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.”

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Drilon expanded the measure to cover social media.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“Troll is a virus that hides behind anonymity and continues to spread nothing but hatred and disinformation,” he added.

“This provision is a solution to the anonymity that provides the environment for trolls and other malicious attacks to thrive in the age of social media,” he further said.

Senator Grace Poe, the sponsor of the bill, said the measure establishes “another layer of security protection” for Filipinos to deter criminals from perpetrating “their wicked plans.”

Poe stressed that the policy of SIM card registration under the bill will be implemented “with full regard to our right to privacy.”

“As a champion of privacy rights, we have ensured that the measure was crafted in a manner that accords the highest respect for the Filipinos’ right to confidentiality. Such right is sacred now, and it will remain as such even after this bill becomes law and is enforced,” she said.

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RELATED STORY:

House OKs bill requiring SIM card registration 

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