[Mirror] Durante, Mark Vincent

Summer 2011

“body scanners”

I came across an article stating that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is looking to install body scanners, one at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to ensure the safety of passengers and to remove the possibilities of terrorist actions. (http://balita.ph/2010/02/11/boc-to-install-full-body-scanners-in-major-ports-of-the-country/)

Another article said that an investigation is being set into the plan of such placement of scanners for fear that the equipment would be abused and violate privacy and human rights. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriquez and Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriquez both said that the body scanners use low-levels of radiation to detect contraband and provide “a very detailed image of the travelers’ naked body.” (http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=680542)

The phrase “A detailed image of the travelers’ naked body,” may be seen as bothering for most people although for some it maybe seen as, plainly an image. We can never really understand the relativity of how people think regarding how they can understand the reality that is in front of them. If we were to look at how the normal reaction of people would be i think it would be that such body scanner is outrageous, unethical, and morally wrong. This can proven as it is stated in the Constitution, and the Constitution protects us from such violation of our privacy.

Title III Section 2 of the Constitution states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”

Given this, we should understand that the body scanners that are talked about are indeed considered as searches. Knowing this there is also a clear violation of the right of unreasonable search and seizures. The images generated by the body scanners are the exact image that the people would want to protect. Nobody wants that a stranger from the airport even if considered as a personnel, to be seeing their naked body.

Some would say that these actions, placement of body scanners, are just precautions to terrorism. This maybe true but if we look closely at RA 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007, the second paragraph of Section 2 states that, “In the implementation of the policy stated above, the State shall uphold the basic rights and fundamental liberties of the people as enshrined in the Constitution.” It is clear that the Constitution prevails over RA 9372. Some would also say that, “In installing the devices, passengers do not have to go through the rounds of security checks at the port’s gates and it will put an end to the delays caused by the routine inspection. (Nestorio Gualberto, director of Customs Enforcement and Security Service (ESS))

These inquiries are true and i believe that the intention of the people who wanted to place the body scanners are good but at the end of the day, it is not only their rights that they think are not violated, but they also have to think of how the public thinks. We as a whole are part of society and we as a whole should be part and parcel in the movement to a better and safe society. The Constitution dictates what is said to be unconstitutional and until another new kind of technology is discovered that would pass the limitations set by the Constitution, and i believe it’s already been invented, it will remain a violation of privacy.

works in public places (infringement)

We would always go about our day to day lives without bothering to look at how we should be doing our actions. Especially nowadays, as technology becomes a very big part of our lives, we do not realize that there are things that we do that sometimes we should question. On a daily basis, especially bloggers or those people similar in interests, post as liberally as they want to, pictures of almost everything that they do and basically make a virtual trail of their lives. You have sculptures, statues, paintings, and much more that can be captured by themselves or used as a background. Honestly if you look closely, there is nothing wrong with a few pictures of things that we think are beautiful or unique.

The provisions on the Law on Copyright, Sec 172 states that works are created from the moment of their creation and are protected by the sole fact of their creation. This means that the sculptures, statues, paintings and all other creations, if created, are protected. Knowing this, can we assume that if a person captures these creations and posts them on the internet would there be an infringement of copyright? The same goes with billboards which origin are from a certain work by others.

Normally, we would say that there is nothing wrong as we are just appreciating the works of others and we are not taking any credit for their work. Appreciation without any intention would suffice as not to infringe on any copyright. Although this maybe true on a shallow understanding, the law gives it deeper meaning by qualifying it as part of fair use. Sec 184 about limitations on Copyright talks about this and states that what should be provided are the source and the name of the author. This is further elaborated by Sec 185 as it qualifies fair use giving factor to what could be the basis of fair use. The factors are

(a) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit education purposes; (b) The nature of the copyrighted work; (c) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (d) The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

It is clear that there are many factors in qualifying such actions and we cannot just automatically say that there is infringement. What is important is the intention. If the person exploiting the work of others through the internet is with the intention to do acts which are only granted to the copyright holder, then it is clear that there is such violation. These rights talked about are the ones enumerated in Sec. 177 more specifically those regarding reproduction of a work and those of public display of a copy of a work, to name a few. If actions are the ones in such enumeration then there should be consent. What the laws on copyright are protecting are the rights of the creator of the work. If another person would benefit for the work of another then that wouldn’t be fair. Some people would say, that in case of doubt, ask permission. In this way, even if people think that you are infringing, your not because you asked permission. This is a act of prevention as liability would not arise because of precautions made. As they say, its better to be safe than sorry.

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