Cyber Crime Law

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Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175)

The prefix "cyber" relates to the culture of computers, information technology, the internet, and virtual reality. The term "cybercrime" refers to criminal activities carried out by means of computers or the internet. Just like any other human activity, the internet carries with it new avenues of illegal behavior. The internet makes it easier to commit certain crimes, such as dissemination of pornography, copyright infringement, and defamation. The internet also gives rise to crimes exclusive to the internet, such as computer hacking and misuse. And the internet can make certain crimes complicated, because they could be illegal in some countries, but not in others. Computer misuse was dramatically demonstrated in 2000, when a Filipino hacker attacked and destroyed data in 45 million computers. He created a virus that the media called the "Love Bug," because it used the subject line "I love you" in the emails that carried it. The estimated cost in damages was $10 billion. The Filipino was never punished, because the Philippines at that time had no law criminalizing computer misuse. As economics and business students, you are already aware that cybercrime works to prejudice ecommerce. Companies with online operations are subject to credit card fraud, identity theft, phishing, and intellectual property crimes. Cybercriminals continue to negatively impact ecommerce.

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 (is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else), cybersex (a virtual sex encounter in which two or more persons connected remotely via computer network send each other sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. In one form, this fantasy sex is accomplished by the participants describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies), child pornography (refers to images or film and, in some cases, writings depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child), identity theft (is a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name), illegal access to data and libel (is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image). The Act also mandates the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to organize a cybercrime unit, staffed by special investigators whose responsibility will be to exclusively handle cases pertaining to violations of the Act, under the supervision of the Department of Justice. The unit is empowered to, among others, collect real-time traffic data from Internet service providers with due cause, require the disclosure of computer data within 72 hours after receipt of a court warrant from a service provider, and conduct searches and seizures of computer data and equipment. It also mandates the establishment of special "cybercrime courts" which will handle cases involving cybercrime offenses. The Act could potentially affect freedom of expression, freedom of speech and data security in the Philippines. It also allows authorities to collect data from personal user accounts on social media and listen in on voice and video applications such as Skype, without a warrant. Users who post defamatory comments on Facebook or Twitter, for...
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