The scope of Cybercrime law effects on Mapua IT students derives a wide scope of related literature that is worth mentioning. In this regard, this literature view concerning the effects of Cybercrime law to Mapua IT students, will address the following areas relevant to this study: History of Cybercrime law, Provisions, People Reactions, Petitions to the Supreme Court; and Conclusion. HISTORY OF CYBERCRIME The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is the first law in the Philippines which specifically criminalizes computer crime, which prior to the passage of the law had no strong legal precedent in Philippine jurisprudence.
While laws such as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 8792) regulated certain computer-related activities, these laws did not provide a legal basis for criminalizing crimes committed on a computer in general: for example, Onel de Guzman, the computer programmer charged with purportedly writing the ILOVEYOU computer worm, was ultimately not prosecuted by Philippine authorities due to a lack of legal basis for him to be charged under existing Philippine laws at the time of his arrest.
Although several cybercrime-related bills were filed in the 14th and 15th Congress, the Cybercrime Prevention Act in its current form is the product of House Bill No. 5808, authored by Representative Susan Yap-Sulit of the second district of Tarlac and 36 other co-authors, and Senate Bill No. 2976, proposed by Senator Edgardo Angara. Both bills were passed by their respective chambers within one day of each other on June 5 and 4, 2012, respectively, shortly after the impeachment of Renato Corona, and the final version of the Act was later signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III on September 12, 2012.
PROVISIONS The Act, divided into 31 sections split across eight chapters, criminalizes several types of offenses, including illegal access (hacking), data interference, device misuse, cybersquatting, computer-related offenses such as computer fraud, content-related offenses such as cybersex and spam, and other offenses. The law also reaffirms existing laws against child pornography, an offense under Republic Act No. 9779 (the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009), and libel, an offense under Section 355 of the
Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, also criminalizing them when committed using a computer system. Finally, the Act provides for a “catch-all” clause, wherein all offenses currently punishable under the Revised Penal Code are likewise punishable under the Act when committed using a computer, with corresponding stricter penalties than if the crimes were punishable under the Revised Penal Code alone. The Act has universal jurisdiction: its provisions apply to all Filipino nationals regardless of the place of commission.
Jurisdiction also lies when a punishable act is either committed within the Philippines, whether the erring device is wholly or partly situated in the Philippines, or whether damage was done to any natural or juridical person who at the time of commission was within the Philippines. Regional Trial Courts shall have jurisdiction over cases involving violations of the Act. A takedown clause is included in the Act, empowering the Department of Justice to restrict and/or demand the removal of content found to be contrary to the provisions of the Act, without the need for a court order.
This provision, originally not included in earlier iterations of the Act as it was being deliberated through Congress, was inserted during Senate deliberations on May 31, 2012. Complementary to the takedown clause is a clause mandating the retention of data on computer servers for six months after the date of transaction, which may be extended for another six months should law enforcement authorities request it.
The Act also mandates the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to organize a cybercrime unit, staffed by special investigators whose responsibility will be to exclusively handle cases pertaining to violations of the Act, under the supervision of the Department of Justice. The unit is empowered to, among others, collect real-time traffic data from Internet service providers with due cause, require the disclosure of computer data within 72 hours after receipt of a court warrant from a service provider, and conduct searches and seizures of computer data and equipment.
It also mandates the establishment of special “cybercrime courts” which will handle cases involving cybercrime offenses (offenses enumerated in Section 4(a) of the Act). PEOPLE REACTIONS The new Act received mixed reactions from several sectors upon its enactment, particularly with how its provisions could potentially affect freedom of expression, freedom of speech and data security in the Philippines. The local business process outsourcing industry has received the new law well, citing an increase in the confidence of investors due to measures for the protection of electronic devices and online data.
Media organizations and legal institutions though have criticized the Act for extending the definition of libel as defined in the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, which has been criticized by international organizations as being outdated: the United Nations for one has remarked that the current definition of libel as defined in the Revised Penal Code is inconsistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and therefore violates the respect of freedom of expression.
Senator Edgardo Angara, the main proponent of the Act, defended the law by saying that it is a legal framework to protect freedoms such as the freedom of expression. He asked the Act’s critics to wait for the bill’s implementing rules and regulations to see if the issues were addressed. He also added that the new law is unlike the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act. However, Senator Teofisto Guingona III criticized the bill, calling it a prior restraint to the freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also expressed concern about the Act, supporting local media and journalist groups which are opposed to it. PETITIONS TO THE SUPREME COURT Several petitions have been submitted to the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Act. However, on October 2, the Supreme Court deferred on acting on the petitions, citing the absence of justices which prevented the Court from sitting en banc.
The lack of a temporary restraining order meant that the law went into effect as scheduled on October 3. In protest, Filipino netizens reacted by blacking out their Facebook profile pictures and trending the hashtag #notocybercrimelaw on Twitter. Anonymous also defaced government websites, including those of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the Intellectual Property Office.
On October 9, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order, stopping implementation of the Act for 120 days. PetitionerDate of Filling 1Sen. Teofisto Guingona III 2Group of lawyers from the Ateneo School of Law 3Journalists led by Alab ng Mamahayag (ALAM)September 24, 2012 4Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino 5National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera et al. 6Technology law experts led by UP Law professor JJ Disini 7Louis BiraogoSeptember 25, 2012
8National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility 9Bloggers and Netizens for Democracy (BAND) led by Tonyo Cruz, “The Professional Heckler” and 18 more bloggersOctober 4, 2012 10Philippine Bar Association 11Paul Cornelius Castillo and Ryan AndresOctober 3, 2012 12Bayan Muna. Rep. Neri Colmenares 13National Press Club 14Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance 15Harry Roque et al. REFERENCE http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Cybercrime_Prevention_Act_of_2012#History