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THE CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT OF
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 acces
to data and libel.
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 a legal basis for criminalizing crimes committed on a computer in general.
The initial draft of the law started in 2002 from the former Information Technology an eCommerce Council(ITECC) Legal and Regulatory Comittee chaired by Atty. Claro Parlade and its Information Security and Privacy sub-comittee co-chaired by Albert Dela Cruz of PHCERT and Atty. Elfren Meneses of the NBI. ITECC was established under the presidency of Joseph Estrada, And continued during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. It was headed by Secretary Virgilio ‘Ver’ Peña, the first Chair of the former Commission on Communication and Information Technology (CICT), and was an attempt to harmonize the U.S Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Treaty or Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, Pending House and Senate Bills. It was Originally known as Proposed bill HB377
The Act, divided into 31 sections split across eight
chapters, criminalized several types of offense,
including illegal access(hacking), data
interference, device misuse, cybersquatting,
computer related offenses such as computer
fraud, content-related offenses such as
cybersex and spam, and other offenses, The law
also reaffirms existing laws against child
pornography, an offense under Republic Act No.
9779 (the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009),
and libel, an offense under Section 355 of the
revised Penal code of the Philippines, also
criminalizing them when committed using a
computer system. Finally, the Act includes a
“catch all” clause, making all offenses currently
punishable under the Revised Penal Code also
punishable under the Act when committed using
a computer, with severer penalties that
provided by the Revised Penal Code Alone.
PETITIONS TO THE SUPREME COURT
Several petitions have been submitted to the Supreme
Court questioning the constitutionality of the Act.
However, on October 2, the Supreme Court deferred on
acting on the petitions, citing the absence of justices
which prevented the Court from sitting en banc. The
lack of a temporary restraining order meant that the law
went into effect as scheduled on October 3. In protest,
Filipino netizens reacted by blacking out their Facebook
profile pictures and trending hashtag
#notocybercrimelaw on twitter. Anonymous also defaced
government websites, including those of the Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Metropolitan Waterworks and
Sewerage System and the Intellectual Property Office.
REVISION OF THE LAW
On May 24,2013, the DOJ announced that online libel provisions of the law have been dropped, as well as other provisions
that “are punishable under other laws already”, like child pornography and cyber squatting. The DOJ will endorse the
revised law to the next 16th Congress of the Philippines.
SUPREME COURT RULING
On February 18 ,2014, The Supreme Court ruled the online libel provision of the act to be constitutional, although it struck down other provisions, including the ones that violated the provisions on double jeopardy. The petitioners planned to appeal the...
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