May 28, 2012
BILLS ON DATA PRIVACY AND CYBERCRIME PREVENTION
Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored that the passage of laws protecting data privacy and preventing cybercrime will help secure e-governance initiatives in the country, especially in rolling out cloud computing services for government.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, noted recent efforts of the Department of Science and Technology Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) to set up its own "private cloud" of servers for the entire government's email and other ICT services.
"We welcome this effort and all similar initiatives in deploying ICT to improve government's processes and operations," said Angara. "ICT is perhaps the foremost enabler among today's newest technologies. If utilized properly, these fast-paced technologies will make government more efficient, effective and transparent."
DOST-ICTO Louis Casambre told the media that government safeguards its sensitive data, such as email correspondence between the President and his staff, if it controls its own set of servers and no longer needs to use the "public" cloud.
Casambre then said that the new government cloud network will be ready for use soon, and will adhere to international standards for IT security.
"I have full confidence that the DOST-ICTO will do what it can to build in safeguards for this government ICT facility," explained Angara. "But this government cloud will be protected further with the passage of the bills on Data Privacy and Cybercrime Prevention."
Angara is the main proponent of the Data Protection Act (SBN 2965) and the Cybercrime Prevention Act (SBN 2796). Both were recently passed in Congress, and are awaiting bicameral conference before being transmitted to Malacanang for signing.
The Data Protection Act mandates all data collectors, including government agencies, to protect and preserve the integrity, security and confidentiality of any personal and sensitive information they use throughout their operations.
The Cybercrime Prevention Act seeks to create a legal framework for the detection, investigation, apprehension, prosecution and prevention of Internet-related crimes like hacking and identity theft.
"With these two bills in place, we create an enabling environment for government to scale-up on its transition to ICT-driven operations," stressed Angara. "The quick enactment of these bills sends a clear sign that we are taking significant steps towards the information age."
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