Press Release
December 11, 2011


With more consumers expected to shop online this holiday season, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged buyers to be extra vigilant and cautious in making any online transactions to avoid falling prey to phishing and online scams.

Angara, author of an anti-cybercrime measure, made the call amid the rising number of complaints involving cybercrimes. "There have been numerous reports of cybercrime attacks ranging from identity theft to dubious online offers. A lot of Filipinos have already fallen victim to these activities.

"The government ought to be more active in protecting the interests of online consumers. Meanwhile, consumers must also be extra careful about what they buy and who they transact with," said Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

He continued, "Cybercrime is a silent epidemic. People are aware that it is happening, or have even experienced it, but they are often uncertain how to deal with it and which agency should cybercrime victims report to. Is it the PNP, NBI, DTI or the bank?"

Angara urged for the immediate passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act which seeks to protect Filipino Internet users from misuse and abuse arising from fraud, theft, hacking, child pornography and cyber prostitution, and make electronic transactions more secure.

Under Senate Bill 2796 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, law enforcement authorities will be given the legal powers to investigate and prosecute offenders and provide for more international collaboration in prevention, apprehension and prosecution of cyber criminals.

"The current laws on cyber-security are not enough to address the threats of common cybercrimes. For instance, Republic Act 8792 or the E-Commerce Act, only penalizes hacking, cracking and piracy. It does not cover all the forms of cybercrime such as cyber-fraud and similar offenses. This necessitates the passage of a comprehensive bill on cybercrime," Angara stressed.

Angara said that once the measure is passed into law, computer users will be protected from illegal access, interference of data and systems and misuse of devices such as computer programmes and stealing of passwords. Angara also added that the bill also covers content related offenses specifically cybersex, child pornography and unsolicited commercial communications such as email spamming.

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