Press Release
June 8, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara lauded the long-awaited passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act at the bicameral committee level before the Congressional session ended this week.

"By passing this law, we are encouraging the use of the cyberspace for information, recreation, learning and commerce. But at the same time, we are assuring every user's protection from abuse and misuse," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology

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

"The Cybercrime Prevention Act makes sure that data breaches are criminalized and penalized accordingly. It protects freedom in using the Internet while making sure the Web remains safe. We want to ensure that our digital space remains a productive and collaborative venue," added Angara, also Chair of the Committee on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

The bicameral committee used the Senate version (Senate Bill 2796) authored by Angara as its working draft.

Section 3 defines that information through ICT media can be in the form of voice, video and other forms of data. Computer was also further defined as a device with data processing capabilities like mobile phones, smart phones, computer networks, and other devices connected to the Internet .

Section 4 states that employees, officers or agents of a service provider or whose facilities are used in transmission of communications will not be exempted from facing criminal charge even if he/she uses monitoring, utility service observing or service control quality checks as reason.

Section 6 emphasizes that cybercrimes committed through information and communication technologies (ICT) will be penalized with "one-degree higher" punishments than provided by the Revised Penal Code and special laws.

The measure also establishes a Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center 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.

Angara concluded, "Laws in themselves do not stop people from committing crimes. With this policy, we give government the framework and the foundation for imparting the commensurate punishment for data breaches via ICT, and boost investor confidence in our booming IT-BPO industry. This will be essential in sending the message to the rest of the world that the Philippines is serious about keeping its part of cyberspace safe."

The Cybercrime Prevention Act will now be transmitted to Malacanang. It is one of three ICT measures being pushed by Angara. He is also the proponent of the Data Privacy Act, which has also been passed at the bicameral committee level, and the measure establishing the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

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