Aquino signs anti-cybercrime law-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
MANILA – President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law a bill to combat cyber crimes in the country, a Palace official said on Saturday.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, said that Aquino signed last Wednesday Republic Act (RA) 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Among the punishable acts under the new law include offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data system, illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, and misuse of devices, she said.
These also include computer-related offenses such as computer-related forgery, fraud, and identity theft, Valte said, adding that these crimes are rampant in the Internet.
Also punishable under the new law are content-related offenses like cybersex, and child pornography, she said.
The law also punishes unsolicited commercial communications or cyber squatting, she said. Cyber squatting is the acquisition of a person’s domain name in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy the reputation and deprive others from registering the same.
RA 10175 also punishes libel, Valte said.
The government classified cyber crimes in the Philippines into two categories: Internet Crimes and Commercial Crimes committed with the use of the Internet. Last year, authorities issued a legal advisory on Internet Crimes to protect the public while using the Web.
Existing Philippine laws punishing Internet crimes are RA 9995 (Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act of 2009); RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009); and RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003).
As this developed, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police and the pioneers of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry are exploring collaborative avenues against cybercrime, which has affected call center companies in the country.
Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr., CIDG chief, said the police group and the leaders of the Philippine Call Center Alliance Inc. and the Call Center Association of the Philippines engaged in exploratory talks on September 10 and sought ways to protect the BPO industry against cybercrime.
Pagdilao said the meeting last Monday was arranged after call center operators expressed fear that the raid of the CIDG’s Anti-Transnational and Cybercrime Division (ATCCD) on a call center hub in Mandaue City, Cebu, will weaken the BPO industry in the country.
During the conference, the CIDG explained that the 7/2 Care Call Center was raided by operatives on July 29 after the company was complained by Pfizer, a large pharmaceutical company, for selling counterfeit potency drugs, particularly Viagra, via online.
Pagdilao assured that the CIDG operations were not meant to destroy the industry but rather “protect them from the predation of criminal elements engaged in cybercrime.”
The CIDG and the call center operators agreed to hold joint seminar-workshop to empower companies in the campaign against cybercrime.
The two parties also agreed to create a technical working group that will formulate a protocol of procedures to be observed during raids against call center hubs suspected of cybercrime activities. (SDR/Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)