The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act No. 10175, is a law in the Philippines approved on 12 September 2012. It aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines. Among the cybercrime offenses included in the bill are cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and libel. Screenshot of the social networking site Facebook, as the Filipinos changed their profile pictures into black in protest against the Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012. While hailed for penalizing illegal acts done via the internet that were not covered by old laws, the act has been criticized for its provision on criminalizing libel, which is perceived to be a curtailment in freedom of expression. Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Second Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday the Twenty-fifth day of July two thousand eleven. [Republic Act No. 10175]
AN ACT DEFINING CYBERCRIME, PROVIDING FOR THE PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION, SUPPRESSION AND THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Cybercrime is defined as crimes committed on the internet using the computer as either a tool or a targeted victim. It is very difficult to classify crimes in general into distinct groups as many crimes evolve on a daily basis. Even in the real world, crimes like rape, murder or theft need not necessarily be separate. However, all cybercrimes involve both the computer and the person behind it as victims, it just depends on which of the two is the main target. Hence, the computer will be looked at as either a target or tool for simplicity’s sake. For example, hacking involves attacking the computer’s information and other resources. It is important to take note that overlapping occurs in many cases and it is impossible to have a perfect classification system.
• Computer as a tool
When the individual is the main target of Cybercrime, the computer can be considered as the tool rather than the target. These crimes generally involve less technical expertise as the damage done manifests itself in the real world. Human weaknesses are generally exploited. The damage dealt is largely psychological and intangible, making legal action against the variants more difficult. These are the crimes which have existed for centuries in the offline. Scams, theft, and the likes have existed even before the development in high-tech equipment. The same criminal has simply been given a tool which increases his potential pool of victims and makes him all the harder to trace and apprehend.
• Computer as a target
These crimes are committed by a selected group of criminals. Unlike crimes using the computer as a tool, these crimes requires the technical knowledge of the perpetrators. These crimes are relatively new, having been in existence for only as long as computers have - which explains how unprepared society and the world in general is towards combating these crimes. There are numerous crimes of this nature committed daily on the internet. But it is worth knowing that Africans and indeed Nigerians are yet to develop their technical knowledge to accommodate and perpetrate this kind of crime. PUNISHABLE ACTS
Cybercrime Offenses. — The following acts constitute the offense of cybercrime punishable under this Act:
(a) Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems: (1) Illegal Access. – The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right. (2) Illegal Interception. – The interception made by technical means without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data. (3) Data Interference. — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of...
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