Cybercrime Prevention Act signed

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino signed on Wednesday Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 that will punish libel online and combat Internet-related offenses in the country.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB yesterday that among the punishable acts under the new law are offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data system, illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference and misuse of devices.

Also covered are computer-related offenses such ascomputer-related forgery, fraud and identity theft, crimes rampant over the Internet.

Also punishable under the new law are content-related offenses like cybersex and child pornography, unsolicited commercial communications or cyber squatting.

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.

Valte said RA 10175 also punishes libel.

Asked about possible libel suits because of posts on Twitter and Facebook, Valte said, “We will leave it up to the lawyers to determine.”

Under the new law, unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, are those “committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”

The government classified cyber crimes in the Philippines into two categories: Internet and commercial crimes committed with the use of the Internet.

Last year, authorities issued a legal advisory on Internet crimes to protect the public 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).

Valte said the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police would have to create a cybercrime unit or a center manned by special investigators.

“They need to beef up (anti-cybercrime forces). There are provisions for the creation of these specialized units to enforce the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012,” she said.

She also said the corresponding penalties were delineated and that an “Office of Cybercrime” within the Department of Justice would be established.

Article Source: Philstar
Photo Source: Bazics

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