Posted on 20 September 2012
17 September 2012
Computer-related forgery, and fraud and identity theft are also covered. It is the second such law in Southeast Asia, after Singapore’s. The law’s passing comes as the Philippines steps up its cybercrime enforcement in general: in August, police arrested more than 350 people as part of a financial cybercrime raid. The Philippine National Police said that officials raided some 20 residences in an offensive against an online fraud and account theft ring that operated from the Philippines but targeted Chinese consumers. People posing as Chinese state police would tell their victims that their bank accounts were unsafe, and advise them to transfer all of their funds to another account, held by the criminals.
According to the police, the country’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) also recently busted a group of Filipino hackers at the payroll of terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, arrested the Korean Shin Un-Sun, who was tagged in the hacking of Hyundai company and raided call centers masquerading as legitimate while selling counterfeit drugs online.
Police director Samuel Pagdilao said that that the CIDG has also made “significant preparation” for the enactment of this law by enhancing its capabilities through acquisition of state-of-the-art digital forensic equipment, establishing six regional digital forensic laboratories and two training centers, and through continuous training.
Not everyone is a fan: The new law has prompted some free speech outcry over the libel provisions, which is defined as unlawful or prohibited in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, described as those “committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”
The National Press Club (NPC) today issued a statement in support of the law, as it only targets “so-called ‘bloggers’ and other unscrupulous authors.”
The new law “would help authorities in running after criminal elements to ply their trade in cyberspace while affording victims of these crimes to seek redress of their grievances,” said NPC president Benny Antiporda. “At the same time, the NPC believes that responsible and legitimate members of the press should not entertain the thought that the law’s provision on libel would curtail or diminish our basic rights on freedom of expression and of free speech.”