Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino yesterday said that the Optical Media Board’s proposal to oblige Internet café owners to register the hard disks of their computers may be used to violate the people’s right to privacy and right against illegal searches and seizures.

“The very idea that the OMB will have an access to privately owned hard drives is clearly a constitutional violation. It is like subjecting your closet to government scrutiny,”said Palatino.

The possibility that the OMB may check the entire storage device, according to Palatino, will expose all other personal files of the owner.

“OMB may declare a file ‘malicious’ and thus give them the chance to search and confiscate the hard drive.”

Palatino stated that instead of compelling the computer shop owners to register their hard drive, the government should strengthen and improve the IT infrastructure in the country.

“This is to empower institutions and individuals against ‘malicious technological challenges,’ instead of compromising the inherent rights and freedoms of citizens in the use of information and communications technology,” he added.

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