“Cybercrimes” Finally Defined and Penalized under Philippine Law
On 12 September 2012, President Noynoy Aquino signed into law Republic Act No. 10175, which finally defines, deters and penalizes cybercrimes. Under the law, “cybercrimes” are classified into offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems; computer-related fraud, forgeries and identity-theft; and content-related offenses like cybersex, child pornography, unsolicited commercial communications, and libel. Other related acts like attempting to commit, and aiding and abetting cybercrimes are likewise punished. To implement and enforce the law, the Office of Cybercrime under the Department of Justice and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center are created.
Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. was one of the authors of the law, having filed Senate Bill No. 2534, with the guidance of the Department of Justice, in his maiden year in the Senate in 2010. Senator Marcos recognized that while computers, high-technology devices and the internet have proven to be useful and indispensable tools of the modern world, they have also been used for illegal, immoral, and other sinister purposes, with the same ease and facility. “Nowadays, methods of digital attacks, identity theft, and hacking, to mention a few, beleaguer the information technology system. Computers are used to commit crimes where confidential information is lost or intercepted, or where the privacy of another is violated,” Senator Marcos said.