The Cybercrime Law of the Philippines (also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act 10175) is a newly-signed act that gives us a true legal tool to combat cybercrime. A better definition is given by a press release from the Senate, a part of which says, "The Cybercrime Prevention Act lays down a comprehensive legal framework for the detection, investigation, and suppression of cybercrimes..." The Republic Act No. 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, is an act that defines and punishes cybercrime to prevent and suppress its proliferation. It aims to effectively prevent and combat misuse, abuse and illegal access of the Internet by facilitating their detection, investigation, arrest and prosecution at both the domestic and international levels, and by providing arrangements for fast and reliable international cooperation. To formulate and implement a national cyber security plan, a Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) will be created under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President.
This Act is authored by Reps. Susan Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), Eric Owen Singson, Jr. (2nd District, Ilocos Sur), Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City) and Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora). Other authors of the bill are Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga), Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur), Carmelo Lazatin (1st District, Pampanga), Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District,Cagayan de Oro City), Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), Mariano Michael Velarde and Irwin Tieng (Party-list, BUHAY), Romeo Acop (2nd District, Antipolo City), Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, Bagong Henerasyon), Anthony Rolando Golez (Lone District,Bacolod City), Juan Miguel Macapagal-Arroyo (Party-list, Ang Galing Pinoy), Ma. Amelita Calimbas-Villarosa (Lone District, Occidental Mindoro), Antonio Del Rosario (1st District, Capiz), Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), Eulogio Magsaysay (Party-list, AVE), Sigfrido Tinga (2nd District, Taguig City), Roilo Golez (2nd District, Parañaque City), Romero Federico Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City), Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st District, Western Samar), Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), Daryl Grace Abayon (Party-list, Aangat Tayo), Tomas Apacible (1st District, Batangas), Jerry Treñas (Lone District, Iloilo City), Joseph Gilbert Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecija), Hermilando Mandanas (2nd District, Batangas), Ma. Rachel Arenas (3rd District,Pangasinan) and Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (1st District, Bulacan) The newly approved law aimed at combating cybercrimes has been met with mixed reactions from the public and private sectors. This Prevention Act is a boon for local firms, particularly in the information technology sector, business groups said. Other groups meanwhile warned that the new law threatens Filipinos' freedom of expression as well as freedom of information. But what does the anti-cybercrime law mean for the ordinary Filipino citizen? Most if not all of the offenses in the law are already crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code.
Commenting on the new law, Information and Communications Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP) President Dondi Mapa said: "It's not a matter of identifying new crimes but only recognizing that existing crimes now happen in a new environment." The anti-cybercrime act itself notes under its declaration of policy that it is the state's mechanism to adopt "sufficient powers to effectively prevent and combat such offenses by facilitating their detection, investigation, and prosecution."
The law categorizes cybercrimes into three: (1) offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems; (2) computer-related; or (3) content-related offenses. Illegal access to computer systems, illegal interception of data, data or system interference, as...