We've been hoping for a legal system against cybercrime that's updated and, well, works. The good news is we might just be a step closer to that since the House of Representatives has just approved House Bill 5808 which is also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
So, what's under HB 5808? The bill, as expected, covers offenses such as hacking, illegal online access, computer forgery, illegal interception, and online fraud. Content-related acts such as cybersex, online child pornography, and even cyber defamation or online libel are also penalized under the bill. As for penalties, those who will commit offenses that are against confidentiality and availability of computer data (i.e. hacking and illegal access) will be slapped with a P200,000 fine while online defamation is at P500,000 (max P1 million). For cybersex offenses and child pornography, the penalties are even bigger at P1 million and 1.25 million, respectively.
The Philippine Senate has its own version of the bill (SB 2796) although the penalties set within it are lower by comparison. The next step will be the Congress and Senate "combining" both into one law, pending the President's approval. Here's to hoping it'll come sooner rather than later, and will truly serve the purpose of countering cybercrime and not become something like SOPA and PIPA.
Check out the gallery below for the reasons why we really need a strong cybercrime law
Click here for the House of Representatives' press release