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Information Security

The Philippines approves anti-cybercrime bill

The Philippine legislature this week endorsed a consolidated bill outlining the definition of cybercrimes and giving penalties to violators.

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The bill, approved by the Committee on Information and Communications of the House of Representatives, is known as The Cyber-crime Prevention Act of 2011.

It is directed at safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of information from cyber users.

“This bill, if passed, will protect and safeguard not only the integrity of computer systems but also the veracity of database and confidentiality of data storing systems as well as all networks from misuse abuse and illegal access,” said Taguig City Rep. Sigfrido Tinga, Committee Chair.

If enacted into law, the bill will punish cyberstalking and defamation over social media.

The bill divides cybercrimes into several categories, including offences against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems, computer-related offences, and content-related offenses.

Under offences against confidentiality are illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices fall under offenses against confidentiality and others.

Content-related offences include computer forgery and computer-related fraud constitute computer-related offenses while cybersex, unsolicited commercial communications, cyber defamation and cyber threats.

The rest are aiding or abetting in the commission of a cybercrime and attempting to commit cybercrime.

The bill upholds the importance of ICT as a driving force for the nation’s overall social and economic development.

“Today, the Internet is an indispensable tool, having revolutionized the way we learn, interact, govern and manage business. It has liberated communication and different kinds of transactions from constraints of geography and time,” said Senator Edgardo Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and current chairman of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

Angara said a law that can respond to dynamic and fast-growing threats within the continuously changing internet landscape is a necessity.

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