The Proposed Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

The lower house has already approved in third and final reading House Bill 5808, known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. This follows the passage earlier by Senate the same provisions of the bill with the same proposed title under Senate Bill 2796. With both chambers of Congress passing same bills but with minor differences, a consolidated bill shall be drafted by the bicameral conference committee and shall be approved into law by the President.

The proposed laws categorically identify what falls under the definition of cybercrime and how to prevent its proliferation and pushes for appropriate punishment against the violators.

The following are considered acts of cybercrime under the two bills:

  • Availability of computer data and systems acquired through illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference and misuse of devices. Example of these is “cracking” or what is popularly known as hacking.
  • Computer-related acts:
    • computer forgery
    • fraud
    • content-related offenses like cybersex (posing nude for an online customer), unsolicited commercial communication(spam), cyber defamation (internet libe) and cyber threats (may include cyber bullying)
Punishment under the House bill (Senate version has lower penalties):
  • Fine: P200,000 for the commission of offenses against confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems and those that are computer-related;
  • Fine: P1,000,000 for Cybersex offense. (Senate Bill: P200,000 to P1M)
  • Fine: P1,250,000 for child pornography (Senate Bill: same with the Child Pornography Act)
  • Fine: P250,000 for unsolicited commercial communications offense (Senate Bill: P50,000 to P250,000)
The House bill designates the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to implement the provisions of this proposed law while the Department of Justice shall assist in the investigation and prosecution of the case. The Senate version mandates for the creation of Office of Cybercrime under the DOJ.
The House Bill mandates for the establishment of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) to formulate and implement a national cyber security plan. The CICC shall be placed under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President. The Senate Version, authored by Senator Edgardo Angara, calls for the creation of similar office–the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO).

The Senate bill also sets for the creation of the National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council, under the Office of the President. The country is pressured to pass this proposed bills into law because of the ineptness of the present E-Commerce law to combat against cyber crimes.

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