Papua New Guinea Proposes Law That Could Shut Down Criticism

Papua New Guinea is said to be mimicking a law that was recently declared constitutional in the Philippines. With the growing cyber threats lurking these days, every government is doing their best to protect its people’s interest. Or are they?

Photo: Rommel Canlas / Shutterstock

Photo: Rommel Canlas / Shutterstock

The Papua New Guinea government under the leadership of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is reportedly cooking up a cybercrime policy similar to that of the Philippines to restrict all forms of criticisms being vented out on social media.

When news broke about the proposed legislation, a cause for concern immediately spread throughout various social media sites and bloggers and social media users expressed their dismay as well. Under the said law, people that make defamatory or slanderous comments on social media sites or forums are to be held accountable for such act.

The government denied allegations of trying to control social media. It is simply a measure to catch up with the digital age, it adds. On a side note, there aren’t any policies covering things like spamming, hacking, computer fraud and forgery.

With such an impending law, the government would be able to criminalize such cybercrimes. The bad news is the policy also covers monitoring activity on social media sites.

However, opposition leader Belden Namah criticized Papua New Guinea’s PM for not taking criticisms well. As the country’s top leader, he should expect a lot of criticisms about his administration and anything related to him. If it’s true that his government is considering signing the strict cybercrime policy into law, then it’s a deliberate way of suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

The good news is that there is a united stand to condemn the proposed law. Papua New Guinea’s citizens stand by their right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. If the government succeeds in implementing these cybercrime policies, it will only introduce chaos in the country.