Press Release
May 12, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara filed and sponsored the Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Senate yesterday, which is aimed at fighting on-line computer related offenses such as child pornography, cybersex, fraud and forgery.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Committee on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), said that Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the region for cyber attacks, and ranks high for URL phishing, which allows hackers to remotely control another computer and is usually targeted at financial services.

Angara said that this bill will help the government protect and safeguard the integrity of computers, communications systems, networks databases and the confidentiality and safety of data stored in them from abuse, misuse and illegal access.

It also provides the means for government to adopt the powers needed to prevent and combat these offenses by facilitating the detection, investigation and prosecution of cyber criminals both domestically and on the international level.

Angara said that the bill will protect users from illegal access, interference of data and systems and misuse of devices such as computer programs and stealing of passwords. He added that the bill also covers content related offenses specifically cybersex, child pornography and unsolicited commercial communications such as email spamming.

The penalties for individuals include imprisonment or fines up to 1 million pesos and for corporate liability fines up to 10 million pesos.

A report from Symantec, an internet security firm, shows that 87% of Filipinos have fallen for cyber attacks including malware invasion, phishing scams and sexual predation.

At present, there are four agencies that fight cybercrime in the country, the Anti-Transnational Crime Division (ATCD) of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the Task Force on E-government, Cyber security and Cybercrimes under the Department of Justice, the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT) which is a purely voluntary, and the government Computer Security and Incident Response Team (GCSIRT) which is a jointly managed team under the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security and the PNP.

Angara stated that the law will allow these agencies to prosecute the offenders that they apprehend and provide for more international collaboration in prevention, apprehension and prosecution of cyber criminals.

The bill will also create and Office of Cybercrime under the DOJ, and tasks the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) to formulate and implement a national cyber security plan, as well as create a National Cyber Security Office. Also, under the control and supervision of the Office of the President is the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center (CICC).

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