Press Release
February 1, 2011


Despite the numerous benefits of information and communication technology (ICT), the anonymity and freedom offered by the Internet are both its strength and vulnerability, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara who filed a bill to combat cybercrimes and protect users of cyberspace.

"Internet use in the Philippines has grown rapidly in the past decade. It has made possible countless opportunities for many Filipinos in every field imaginable - businesses, trade, education, engineering, arts and sciences and has sped up the exchange of information about practically all aspects of life but, the with the progress of ICT also comes the proliferation of cybercrime" said Angara.

"The inherent lack of security in the Internet architecture and relative user anonymity make the Internet an attractive medium for extortion and crimes involving theft of personal information for illicit financial gain," he said.

Recently, Britain and US stock exchange sought help from the security services after finding out that they were victims of cyber attacks designed to spread panic among markets and destabilize western financial institutions. According to a British newspaper, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is investigating a terrorist cyber-attack on its headquarters last year while US officials have traced an attack on one of its exchanges to Russia.

Cybercrime is defined as any illegal and criminal activity committed on the Internet. These include unlawful acts where information technology is used either a tool or target, or both, in the commission of such unlawful acts. Any criminal activity that employs a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for the commission of other illegal acts also goes within the range of cyber crime.

Cybercrime has emerged as the latest and most complicated problem in the cyber world. Criminal activities in the cyberspace are on the rise. Computers today are being misused for illegal activities like e-mail espionage, credit and fraud, spams, and software piracy, which not only invade privacy but also offends senses. On many instances, the computer have been utilized as an instrument in illegal activities such as financial crimes, sale of illegal or stolen articles, pornography, online gambling, crimes impinging on intellectual property rights, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, even cyber stalking, illegal access or hacking, theft of information contained in electronic form, e-mail bombing, virus attacks, internet time thefts and so forth.

"Cyber crime is an actual danger to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It is a dangerous reality, which has to be taken seriously at the highest level. It is of utmost importance that an efficient protection and prevention method be developed to combat cyber crime," said Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

Senate Bill 52 is a measure to fight and prevent cybercrime based on laws that fully respect civil liberties.

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