Sim card registration, repressive and onerous for ordinary Filipinos

This article is available in Pilipino

Today, tens of millions of sim cards will be completely deactivated with the end of the sim card registration deadline. Despite the widespread public dissent as well as opposition from technology experts, the US-Marcos Jr regime pushed through with the implementation of the sim card registration law. NDF-Bikol unites with the Filipino people in condemnation of Marcos Jr’s flagrant apathy and indifference to their clamor.

The regime insists on implementing the said law to intensify and further its surveillance of citizens. It deliberately infringes on people’s rights on private communication and correspondence. With the government’s fascist record, the law will surely be weaponized to trigger further attacks against all that the Marcos Jr. camp considers as its foes including the progressive and nationalist individuals and organizations.

The implementation of the senseless law has already squandered massive amounts of public funds. Funds that could have been allocated for badly needed social services. According to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) itself, they were forced to discontinue their area registration and assistance ahead of the deadline due to the deficit in funds. It is to be expected that in the coming days, the cost of implementation will only increase in magnitude.

Meanwhile, the measure fails to effectively solve the problem of digital scamming, phishing and other similar cybercrimes. In fact, government data shows that there has been an increase in recorded crimes after the sim card registration law was enacted. They peddle this as a good sign that their capacity to monitor crimes improved. But the real point in this is that they have failed to quell the cases of online scams and that cyberspace crimes remain rampant.

In the midst of these conditions, NDF-Bikol calls on the public to be ever more vigilant against any abuse or infringement of their rights. While staying conscious against scams, they must also guard against state repression. They must heighten their capacity to protect their cybersecurity and rights on private communication. They can use alternative messaging apps that have sufficient encryption and be discerning in their correspondence. Also, they must continue the call to rescind the Sim Card Registration Act. The law must be continually exposed for its fascist and repressive character.

Sim card registration, repressive and onerous for ordinary Filipinos