Awareness on the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act

Last September 29, 2012, Internet law expert Atty. JJ Disini discussed the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act (Republic Act 10175) during the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit held at SMX Convention Center. I was stunned when a portion of the said law says that sharing and liking post on social networking site Facebook is libelous.


And for the past few days, I watched several interviews, read articles and blog posts regarding this law. I was frightened on the penalities, most especially on the libel clause that was inserted by Senator Tito Sotto. The law signed by President Noynoy Aquino last September 12, 2012, which voted by the following lawmakers:

  • Sen. Tito Sotto
  • Sen. Bong Revilla
  • Sen. Manny Villar
  • Sen. Lito Lapid
  • Sen. Koko Pimentel
  • Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
  • Sen. Loren Legarda
  • Sen. Chiz Escudero
  • Sen. Ping Lacson
  • Sen. Gringo Honasan
  • Sen. Pia Cayetano
  • Sen. Bongbong Marcos
  • Sen. Ralph Recto

Only Senator TG Guingona didn’t signed the said law.


But after implementing the Cybercrime Prevention Act last October 3, a lot of lawmakers who are now against the said law.  They are: 

  • Senator Chiz Escudero
  • Senator Pia Cayetano
  • Senator Koko Pimentel
  • Senator Antonio Trillanes IV
  • Senator Edgardo Angara
  • Senator Bongbong Marcos
  • Senator Loren Legarda
  • Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago
11 petitioners already filed against the Cybercrime Law to the Supreme Court, as of October 5.

FACTS ABOUT THIS LAW:

Infographic credit: DigitalFilipino

After the controversial “I Love You” virus in 2000 that a certain Onel de Guzman who is believed to be the person behind it. The famous computer virus damaged worth $2-5 billion. And during that time,  E-commerce law (Republic Act 8792) passed as a law in June 2000.

Eleven years has past, then Senator Edgardo Angara and Congressman Sigfrido Tinga co-chaired the Bicam Conference Committee on the Cybercrime Law.

According to Senate records, it was represented by Senators Angara, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Antonio Trillanes, Bong Revilla and Manuel Villar.

The House of Representatives was represented by Sigfrido Tinga, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Aurora), Diosdado “Dato” Macapagal, Jr. (Camarines Sur), Roilo Golez (Paranaque) Miro Quimbo (Marikina), Susan Yap (Tarlac), Ma. Rachel Arenas (Pangasinan), Eric Singson Jr. (Ilocos Sur), Teodoro Marcelino (Marikina), Mel Sarmiento (Western Samar), Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes) and Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro City).


Former President, Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.


    Infographics credit: DigitalFilipino

    Here is the full details of the Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012





    Here are the punishable sanctions under the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act are:


    • Illegal access to a computer system without rights. In this provision, hacking which falls in this category.  Hacking means an unauthorized use of computer and network resources by hackers. Hackers means someone who accesses a computer system by circumventing its security system.
    • Illegal interception of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system.
    • Data interference – alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of data without rights, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.
    • System interference– unauthorized of using computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic data messages, and including the introduction or transmission of viruses. With this, authorized action can also be covered by this provision if the action of the person went beyond agreed scope resulting to damage.
    • Cyber-squatting– if your buying a domain name, you have to be careful in choosing the right one.. In this provision, if you’re acquiring a domain name online and you want the same URL, you’re misleading, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same web address.
    • Misuse of devices– make sure you’re responsible enough of using computer devices and gadgets wherein you can use it online.
    • Computer-related forgery like plagiarism, this means that if a duplicating a data without any consent from the owner of an article or blog post with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were authentic.
    • Computer-related fraud such as input, alteration, or deletion of data or interference in the functioning of a computer system that may cause damage.
    • Identity theft – I’ve been observing for the past few months, with a lot of people using fake profiles on several social networking sites.  Identify theft means acquiring, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of the identifying information of another person.
    • Cybersex– wherein engaging, maintenance, control, or operation of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system.
    • Child pornography-  an unlawful acts as defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 committed using a computer system.
    • Unsolicited commercial communications which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services. One of the example of this provision is spamming/
    • The libel clause that Sen. Tito Sotto included in this law. According to Dictionary.com, libel means: defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures. And it also defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code
    • Aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime.
    • Attempt in the commission of cybercrime.

    A lot of people still didn’t know what are the penalties for this particular law. Here are the following:

    • Anyone who found guilty of committing cybercrime acts enumerated in the first two groups shall be punished with prision mayor —serving of six years and one day to twelve years in prison, or a fine of at least P 200,000 up to P 500,000.
    • If someone found guilty of committing punishable acts enumerated in the first group shall be punished with reclusion temporal, or serving of 12 years and one day to 20 years in prison, or a fine of at least P 500,000 up to the maximum amount in proportion to the damage incurred, or both.
    • A person found guilty of committing cybersex shall be punished with prision mayor, or serving of six years and one day to 12 years in prison, or a fine of at least P 200,000 but not exceeding P 1,000,000, or both.
    • A person found guilty of committing child pornography shall be punished with the penalties enumerated in the Republic Act No. 9775 or theAnti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.
    • A person found guilty of committing unsolicited commercial communications shall be punished with arresto mayor, or serving of one month and one day to six months, or a fine of at least P 50,000 but not exceeding P 250,000, or both.
    • A person found guilty of committing other offenses enumerated in the last group shall be punished with imprisonment one degree lower than that of the prescribed penalty for the offense, or a fine of at least P 100,000 but not exceeding P 500,000, or both.
    • If any of these offenses are knowingly committed by a natural person on behalf of or for the benefit of a juridical person, the latter shall be held liable for fines enumerated above up to a maximum of P 10,000,000.
    • If, for the benefit of the juridical person, the offense was made possible because of a natural person’s failure to supervise or control, the former shall be held liable for fines enumerated above up to a maximum of 5,000,000 million pesos.


    How it will be done by the law enforcement authorities:


    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall be responsible for the implementation of the said law.


    The Department of Justice (DOJ) will be responsible in doing the investigations regarding criminal offenses related to computer systems, collecting of electronic evidences, and making it sure that the provisions of the law are complied with. And also they were the one who empowered by the law to block access to computer data if they are seen as prima facie evidence that violates this law.


    My stand on this particular issue:

    I’m not against the said law, but I’m disappointed on what Senator Tito Sotto included the libel clause. It’s 

    against the freedom of speech, which included on the 1987 Constitution. According to the law, in Section 4 of the said constitution:

    Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.


    I’m hoping that they will repeal the said provision.

    by Eccentric Yet Happy