Cybercrime Law

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The cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act No. 10175, is a law in the Philippines approved on September 12, 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. 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. The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is the first law in the Philippines which specifically criminalizes computer crime, which prior to the passage of the law had no strong legal precedent in Philippine jurisprudence. While laws such as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (Republic Act no. 8792) regulated certain computer-related activities, these laws did not provide at a legal basis for criminalizing crimes committed on a computer in general: for example, Onel de Guzman, the computer programmer charged with purportedly writing the ILOVEYOU computer worm, was ultimately not prosecuted by Philippine authorities due to lack of legal basis for him to be charged under existing Philippine laws at the time of his arrest. Although several cybercrime-related bills were filed in the 14th and 15th congress, the Cybercrime Prevention Act in its current form is the product of House Bill No. 5808, authored by Representative Susan Yap Sulit of the second district of Tarlac and 36 other co-authors, and Senate Bill No. 2976, proposed by Senator Edgardo Angara. Both bills were passed by their respective chambers within one day of each other on June 5 and 4, 2012, respectively, shortly after the impeachment of Renato Corona, and the final version of the Act was later signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III on September 12, 2012. People wanted to make all...
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