Cybercrime Bill Urgent

Senator Ed Angara
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government to expedite the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act to protect Filipino internet users against the growing number of online criminals.

The prevalence of the Internet in the Philippines is increasing each year--right now there are around 30 million Filipinos who use it on a regular basis, with millions more having access should they need to go online.
"Today, the Internet is an indispensable tool, having revolutionized the way we learn, interact, govern and manage business. It has liberated communication and different kinds of transactions from constraints of geography and time," he said.

However, according to Angara, this freedom comes with a cost. Increased Internet usage have unfortunately resulted in a massive number of online crimes such as fraud, theft, and child pornography, encouraged by the absence of any appropriate legal framework.

"The perceived anonymity of users adds to the inherent lack of security of the Internet, making online criminals more daring and less remorseful," said Angara.

The veteran legislator and current chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering explained that we need a law that can respond to such dynamic and fast-growing threats within the constantly changing landscape of the Internet.

"Cyber Law is more complicated than traditional laws primarily because the range of activities it seeks to govern is largely technology driven. Futher, combating Cybercrime requires the proper technical training of law enforcers in identifying and acquiring intangible evidence of its commission," he said.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, admits that the Philippines is lagging behind in terms of legislation to address the new threats and dangers that have emerged in the last decade.

"More than ten years ago, we passed the landmark E-Commerce Law which was able to somehow address the current issues at the time. Both Internet users and Internet offenders have gone a long way since then, Therefore, I think it's high time that we catch up with the rapid rate of technological development," he urged.