Press Release
November 4, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara once again called on Congress to fast-track the passage of the bill which aims to protect individuals and institutions from cybercrime attacks as he expressed alarm over a series of cyber attacks on foreign government agencies and companies.

According to recent reports, Japan's parliament has come under cyber attack again, apparently from the same emails linked to a China-based server that have already hit several lawmakers' computers.

Reports further revealed that malicious emails were found on computers used in the upper chamber of the Japanese parliament. Politicians' computers and a lower house server had contracted a "Trojan horse" virus containing a program that allowed a China-based server to steal passwords and other information.

In June, Internet giant Google said a cyber-spying campaign originating in China had targeted the Gmail accounts of senior US officials, military personnel, journalists and Chinese political activists.

"To avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, we must pass a measure that will help the government protect and safeguard the integrity of computers, communications systems, networks databases and the confidentiality and safety of data stored in them from abuse, misuse and illegal access," stressed Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

Under Senate Bill 2796 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act authored by Angara, law enforcement authorities will be given the legal powers to investigate and prosecute offenders and provide for more international collaboration in prevention, apprehension and prosecution of cyber criminals.

"The current laws on cyber-security are not enough to address the threats of common cybercrimes," he explained. "For instance, Republic Act 8792 or the E-Commerce Act, only penalizes hacking, cracking and piracy. It does not cover all the forms of cybercrime such as cyber-fraud and similar offenses.

"This necessitates the passage of a comprehensive bill on cybercrime," Angara stressed.

Angara said that once the measure is passed into law, computer users will be protected from illegal access, interference of data and systems and misuse of devices such as computer programmes and stealing of passwords. Angara also added that the bill also covers content related offenses specifically cybersex, child pornography and unsolicited commercial communications such as email spamming.

The bill seeks to provide stiffer penalties to curb cybercrime offenses. Offenders will be imprisoned or fined up to P1 million. Corporate violators, meanwhile, will be made to pay up to P10 million.

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