Regulating Wi-Fi in Davao a Harebrained Idea

Jan. 10, 2007

Davao City Councilor Pilar Braga maybe overdoing her campaign against pornography on the Internet. In a privilege speech, according to this report, Braga raised alarm over the sight of “laptop-carrying executives accessing pornographic materials while leisurely sipping coffee in some cafes in the downtown area.” For that, she wanted to regulate wi-fi connections being offered by these bars and cafes.

While we share her concern that minors should be protected from online pornography (and that regulating Internet cafes for that purpose maybe a good idea), we don’t see any good in her new proposal to regulate as well wi-fi.

We can cite, however, the bad things that will result from such a harebrained idea: it will run against the campaign to make the city more connected, it will make people wonder whether Davaoenos prefer to live in the Stone Age, it will make investors wonder whether the city is serious in promoting information technology, etc. etc.

What would Braga come up with next — regulate the Internet? Has Davao been annexed by China ?

If the report on her privilege speech was accurate, Braga provided the best argument against her own proposal — that bit about executives viewing pornographic materials on the Internet. Unless these executives are pubescent boys, what exactly is wrong with that? And when was the last time you saw boys below 18 drooling over nude pictures on the Internet at BluGre cafe or other wi-fi hotspots in the city?

Instead of telling the adult public what they should view online, why can’t Braga use the resources of her office to crack down instead on, say, webcam prostitution or the so-called “show for load” racket?

The key point here is that technology, like wi-fi, makes our life a little easier. We should not fall into the trap of scuttling technology just because some people use it in ways that offend Braga’s moral sensitivies.

[tags]davao today, davao, wi-fi, hotspots, wifi, internet censorship, online prostitution, webcam prostitution, pornography, pilar braga[/tags]

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