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Philippine SIM card registration law aims to end text scams

Opponents say legislation could lead to state surveillance of government critics

Children play video games on their phones at a market in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on July 21, 2020.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. last week signed his first piece of legislation since entering office -- a law that forces public telecommunications entities to create a database of mobile phone SIM cards and their users.

The law means that Filipinos will need to register their identities with the entities or have their cards deactivated. It will punish fraudulent registration and allow law enforcement to pull up a user's data to investigate any crimes committed with the use of phones.

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