Tacloban City (January 20) – The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading its version of the anti-cybercrime law.

Deputy Speaker Eric Singson, one of the principal authors of House Bill 6794, said that Buhay party list Representatives Rene Velarde and Irwin Tieng, together with Representatives Marcelino Teodoro, Lakas-Kampi, Marikina City; Isidro Ungab of NPC, Davao City; and Carmelo Lazatin, Lakas, Pampanga, are the authors of separate measures that were incorporated in HB 6794.

With the counter part bill, Senate 3177, otherwise known as Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2009 authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Congress should be able to pass the soonest possible time measure that will protect the citizenry from the rising incidents of illegal, malicious and life-threatening acts committed through the use of the Internet, cellular phones and other computer devices.

With the advent of technology, even government databases are some of the principal victims of these types of crimes.

The proposed Anti-Cybercrime bill defines various forms of cybercrime offenses and prescribes corresponding punishments. These offenses include hacking, identity theft, phishing, spamming, website defacement, denial-of-service attacks, malware such as the infamous ILOVEYOU virus, child pornography and cyber prostitution.

The authors have introduced amendments to the bill to include provisions against taking, uploading, and distribution of sex videos. The bill also intends to cover the crime of pornography per se.

Under the proposed measure, any person found guilty of the punishable acts enumerated in the proposed measure will be penalized with imprisonment of prision correcional or a fine of at least P100,000, but not exceeding P500,000.

The Bill has enjoyed the support of the ICT industry as well as the country’s law enforcement agencies which have advocated for a more defined and effective anti-cybercrime framework to secure the integrity of computer and communications systems as well. (PIA 8)

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