Police vow to arrest web criminals amid questions on new cybercrime law-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
MANILA -- The police group tasked to implement the new cybercrime law vowed to go after web hackers and other individuals who engage in coercive and illegal activities using the internet.
Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr., chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), warned cybercriminals that the police will "decisively" deal with them with the enactment of the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The new measure, which was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III on September 12, punishes offenses such as online fraud, identity theft, cybersex, child pornography, cybersquatting, libel, and other acts of internet misconduct.
Both the CIDG and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have expressed gratitude over the enactment of the new measure that would help law enforcers cope up with the "increasing tide of crimes" using the internet.
Pagdilao said the new measure will now change the manner of addressing internet related crimes perpetrated by foreign and local syndicates.
However, the CIDG chief have also raised some questions regarding the measure's certain provisions including those perceived as alleged threats to internet communication and freedom of expression.
For one, Pagdilao cited the Section 19 of the new law which states that the Department of Justice (DOJ) can restrict or block access to computer data that is "prima facie" found to be in violation of the law.
The CIDG chief wondered what role would police investigators play if such authority lies solely in the hands of the DOJ.
Pagdilao also described the new law's libel provision as "too broad."
He added that those who will draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the cybercrime act would have to clarify the contentious details of the new measure.
Last week, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), an inter-agency body created by the new law, said its members will address the issues raised regarding the measure when they start drafting the IRR.
Engineer Louis Casambre, CICC chair, said the body will officially meet in the first week of October.
The CICC is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation director as vice chairperson, the PNP chief, and the head of the DOJ Office of Cybercrime.
The body will also have one representative from the private sector and academe, who are yet to be determined. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)