Congress OKs 2 bills on cybercrime prevention

By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star)

Manila, Philippines – Congress has approved two bills that seek to crack down onInternet-based crimes and ensure the confidentiality of personal information in the hands of private and public data collectors.

In the last session day of the Senate last Wednesday, the bicameral conference committee reports of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and the Data Privacy Act were ratified and are now waiting for President Aquino to sign it into law.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act lays down a comprehensive legal framework for the detection, investigation and suppression of cybercrimes such as hacking, identity theft, cyber squatting, illegal access and child pornography.

The bill penalizes offenses against confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems, including the access to a computer system without right; the interception

without right of any non-public transmission of computer data; the deletion, deterioration or alteration of computer data; hindering the functioning of a computer system by inputting, transmitting, deleting or altering computer data or program; the acquisition of a domain name over the Internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation and deprive others from registering the same; and the use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution of a device, including a computer program designed for the purpose of committing cybercrime.

A Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center under the supervision of the Office of the President would be established under the bill, which will be comprised of the head

of the Department of Justice Office of Cybercrime and one representative each from the private sector and the academe.

“By passing this law, we are encouraging the use of cyberspace for information, recreation, learning and commerce.

But at the same time, we are assuring every user’s protection from abuse and misuse,” said Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on science and technology and the principal author of the bill.