Press Release
January 30, 2012

Senate approves cybercrime bill on third reading

The Senate passed on third reading today the proposed Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 which seeks to penalize individuals for internet-related crimes such as online theft, fraud and hacking.

Sponsored by Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, Senate Bill No. 2796 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, seeks to empower law enforcement agencies to investigate, apprehended and prosecute individuals committing internet-related crimes.

Angara said SBN 2796 aims to ensure internet security to the public with the rapidly changing technology as internet usage becomes more prominent, especially in social networking.

"A large chunk of human activity nowadays is no longer merely physical--it occurs in the Internet. Crime and harm are thus no longer merely physical--they can occur online as well. There is a need for us to innovate security measures and enact laws that will help protect us in the digital world," Angara said.

Under the bill, Angara said, computer forgery, computer-related fraud, cybersex and child pornography will be considered punishable offenses.

He cited the 2012 forecasts from Kaspersky Labs, a Russian Internet security firm, which stated that Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, is one of the regions most vulnerable to "cyber-attack." Passage of the bill, he said, is urgent.

Angara said the bill will provide for an annual provision of P50 million for its implementation.

Angara said an Office of Cybercrime, under the Department of Justice, will serve as the central authority in all matters related to international mutual assistance and extradition.

On the other hand, once signed into law, Angara said the bill also mandates the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) to create National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) which will be responsible for the formulation and implementation of a national cybersecurity policy, among others.

He said a National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council (NCCC) will be established under the Office of the President to execute a national cyber security plan.

Angara said the NCCC shall be chaired by the Executive-Director of the DOST-ICTO with the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Chief of the Philippine National Police and the Head of the Office of Cybercrime under the DOJ as members. Representatives from the private sector and the academe will also be selected to be part of the NCCC.

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