Group renews call for passage of SIM card registration bill | Inquirer News

Group renews call for passage of SIM card registration bill

/ 10:38 PM July 20, 2022
SIM cards. STORY: Group renews call for passage of SIM card registration bill

A picture taken on Feb. 27 ,2015, in Lille, northern France, shows cellphone SIM cards. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN /Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines — CitizenWatch Philippines (CWP), an independent group advocating for the rights and interests of ordinary citizens, renewed its call for Congress to pass the SIM card registration bill, days after several lawmakers refiled a similar measure in the House of Representatives.

The bill would require telecommunication companies to register SIM cards on purchase and activation so that users can be protected against cyber scams and crimes.

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“We need this law, because of the proliferation of scammers, fraudsters, trolls, and disinformation agents who are emboldened by anonymity to do their dark deeds,” lawyer Tim Abejo, co-convenor of CitizenWatch Philippines, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He underscored the important role of legislators in preventing consumers from being easy prey to cybercriminals and trolls that “operate wantonly with no fear of being apprehended.”

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“When SIM cards – which are linked to social media accounts – are registered, those victimizing online shoppers and those fueling confusion, hate, and disinformation will know that they can be traced and prosecuted,”Abejo said.

He also noted that requiring SIM card registration “establishes the identity of users and makes them accountable for everything that they do with their number.”

Last April, then-President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed an earlier version of the SIM card registration bill.

He justified his veto by saying that the provision in the bill on the registration of social media providers — aimed to nip online trolling in the bud — would need further research.

Notably, the refiled House bill no longer includes the provision in question.

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TAGS: CitizenWatch Philippines, SIM Card Registration Bill, Tim Abejo
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