Anti-cyber crime bill pushed

Published by rudy Date posted on April 27, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is pushing for a bill that aims to penalize cyber criminals and hackers, including pedophiles who use the Internet to lure victims.

Enrile initiated the move to crush what he described as “an actual danger to democracy,” by pushing for the immediate approval of a law penalizing cyber criminals.

“Cyber crime is an actual danger to democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” Enrile said in introducing Senate Bill 3177, otherwise known as Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2009.

“It is a dangerous reality which has to be taken seriously at the highest level,” he added.

Enrile explained that measures to fight and prevent cybercrime must be based on laws that fully respect civil liberties.

“It is of utmost importance that an efficient protection and prevention be developed to combat cybercrime,” Enrile said.

Under the proposed measure, any person found guilty of the punishable acts enumerated in the proposed measure will be penalized with imprisonment of prision correcional or a fine of at least P100,000, but not exceeding P500,000.

Enrile’s bill came even as Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano filed another proposal seeking Congress approval that some P100 million out of the P11.3-billion supplemental budget for poll automation be set aside as reward for any person who can hack the system to be used in next year’s general elections.

Cayetano said that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) could test the integrity of the poll automation by subjecting the system to hackers.

Colleagues and Comelec officials met his proposal with skepticism.

In defending his bill, Enrile said the growing Internet use, which has given countless opportunities to millions of Filipinos in every conceivable field, created criminal activities that employ the computer either as an instrument, target, or a means for the commission of other illegal acts considered “within the range of cybercrime.”

“In recent years, we have witnessed how cybercrime has emerged as the latest and most complicated problem in the cyber world. Criminal activities in cyberspace are on the rise,” Enrile said.

He said computers today are being misused for illegal activities like e-mail espionage, credit card fraud, spasm, and software piracy, which “not only invade our privacy but also offend our senses.”

In many instances, Enrile said the computer has been utilized as instrument in the following illegal activities: financial crimes, sale of illegal or stolen articles, pornography, online gambling, crimes impinging on intellectual property rights, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation and even cyber stalking.

The Senate chief also deplored other crimes committed against the computer itself such as illegal access or hacking, theft of information contained in electronic form, e-mail bombing, virus attacks and Internet time thefts.

He said examples of these crimes involve conduct of illegal access to the whole or any part of a computer system without proper authorization, illegal interception or interception without right made by technical means, of non-public transmission of computer data.

Enrile added that these usually lead to data interference or the damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration or suppression of computer data without proper authority.

Internet use in the Philippines has grown rapidly in the past decades, serving as venue for growth and development in business, trade, engineering, arts and sciences and has sped up the exchange of information about practically all aspects of life.

“However, the Internet also has its own disadvantages and one of these is cybercrime,” he said. –Christina Mendez, Philippine Star

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