Monday, January 30, 2012

Philippine Senate Passes Cybercrime Prevention Act

In a press statement, Senator Edgardo J. Angara announced that the Philippine Senate approved upon third reading the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Senate Bill No. 2796).

Angara filed SB2796 which establishes a legal framework for the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of cybercriminals.

The approval of the Cybercrime Prevention Act may be considered long overdue by Filipino netizens who have been victims of criminal activities perpetrated online.  Some of the most recent scandals that highlighted the need for a cybercrime bill was the recent release of sex videos of slain actor Ramgen Revilla and his girlfiend, Janelle Manahan.

In previous years, there has been a proliferation of private sex videos and outright pornographic videos released over the internet.

By designating which legal authorities are responsible and appropriating P50 million for its implementation, the measure protects Filipino Web-surfers from such Internet-related crimes as online theft, fraud, hacking, cyber-squatting and child pornography.

The bill also provides for the creation of new government agencies such as the Office of Cybercrime under the Department of Justice (DOJ); a National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO); and a National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council (NCCC) under the Office of the President.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act is one of the triad of ICT measures authored by Angara and being pushed by COMSTE in support among other things for the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry in the country.

Other ICT-related measures pending in the Senate are the Data Privacy Act and the measure creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

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