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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

The Philippines has a new law that defines internet and computer offenses. President Noynoy Aquino signed into law Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Up until the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, internet use in the Philippines has been practically free of censorship. The new law aims to put users of the internet and computers in check by defining violations related to their use.

Essentially, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 divides offenses into three categories: (a) offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems, (b) computer-related offenses, and (c) content-related offenses.

The first category includes offenses such as hacking and cybersquatting. The second category includes offenses such as forgery, fraud and identity theft. The third category is more interesting since it includes offenses such unsolicited commercial communications and libel. The law now penalizes those who send unsolicited commercial communications which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services. This should put a stop to those spam emails and other unwanted commercial communications. The law however provides for exceptions to this offense.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 also now criminalizes libel done by using a computer system. You better start reading the law and think twice before posting libellous comments online. This could spell an end to cyber bullying.


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