CYBERCRIME  BILL  STILL  SITTING  IN  CONGRESS


MANILA, JANUARY 7, 2009
(STAR) By Aurea Calica - The bill seeking to provide more teeth in the prevention of cybercrimes is still pending before Congress despite the recent sex scandals involving prominent personalities and the proliferation of illegal activities on the Internet.

The senators have come up with Senate Bill 3553 based on Committee Report No. 770 or the proposed act defining cybercrime and providing for the prevention, investigation and imposition of penalties for various violations.

Under the bill known as “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2009,” offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems would include illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, and system interference.

Misuse of devices will also be punishable along with computer-related offenses such as forgery and fraud.

Content-related offenses include cybersex where “any person who establishes, maintains or controls, directly or indirectly, any operation for sexual activity or arousal with the aid of or through the use of a computer system, for a favor or consideration” will be punished, and child pornography.

Penalties proposed under the bill include fines ranging from P200,000 to P1 million for individuals and up to P10 million for corporations, plus imprisonment.

The creation of a Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center was also recommended under the bill.

Authorities complained at the height of the sex video scandal involving former celebrity cosmetic surgeon Hayden Kho and several women that there were not enough laws to punish cybercrimes.

Kho’s sex videos, which he privately recorded without the consent of the women, were allegedly uploaded on the Internet by several individuals in exchange for huge amounts of money.

Kho’s license had been revoked upon the complaint of actress Katrina Halili, one of his victims.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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