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Online, offline protests vs cybercrime law to start Friday

Starting Friday, prepare to see black profiles and cover photos as well as blocked text on Facebook. Expect also to see the return of the #NoToCyberCrimeLaw hashtag on Twitter. Also, don't be surprised to see blackened webpages with your cursor as flashlight.   These are just some of the protests lined up in the days leading to the Supreme Court's oral arguments on the controversial Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The arguments will be held on Tuesday, but as early as January 11, Friday, groups are gearing up protests on and off cyberspace.   “Black Friday no po bukas. Magkakaroon po ng protest action sa schools and campuses. Magsusuot po ng itim tapos mag-puput up ng black streamers,” said Vencer Crisostomo, Kabataan party-list secretary-general, on Thursday during the meeting of anti-cybercrime law groups at the College of Education auditorium in the University of the Philippines-Diliman.   “Tapos for online we are calling for black display photos and black profile pictures,” he added.   “Labhan niyo na ang inyong mga itim na damit at ihanda na ang inyong mga cover photo sa Facebook,” blogger Tonyo Cruz, also a petitioner against the law, said for his part.   Computer Professionals Union, an information technology group, volunteered to put up “splash pages” on websites, where the website will be defaced with a black screen. A message that states the group’s opposition against the cybercrime law will be seen using the cursor, which serves as a flashlight.   The groups, mostly the petitioners against the law before the Supreme Court, will also hold protest actions next week starting Monday night, starting with a vigil near Padre Faura street in Manila.   “Sa Martes, mula umaga hanggang tanghali pupunuin ng activities ang ating protesta. At 9 a.m., we should be in front of the Supreme Court. Ihahatid natin ang ating limang lawyers papasok ng Supreme Court [para sa oral argument],” said Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary-general Renato Reyes.   The protest actions in from of the high court will last until the oral arguments are over.   “Magdala tayo ng mga pampaingay, musical instruments at may sound system bukas para kalampagin ang Korte Suprema,” Reyes said. — KBK, GMA News