President Benigno Aquino signed the law in September last year, amid huge online protests, to stamp out cybercrimes such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography. But opponents swiftly sued over provisions that authorise heavy prison terms for online libel and give the state powers to shut down websites and monitor online activities. The court in October issued a four-month injunction that was to have lapsed this week, as it scrutinised the law for possible violations of constitutional provisions on freedom of expression. De Lima did not say how long the new injunction would be in force and Supreme Court officials declined to comment. Aquino spokesman Ramon Carandang said the government acknowledged the public’s concerns. He noted that even its chief lawyer, Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza, had publicly acknowledged that shutting down websites may be illegal.

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