Cyrber Crime Primer
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The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175, An Act Defining Cybercrime, Providing For The Prevention, Investigation, Suppression And The Imposition Of Penalties Therefor And For Other Purposes) was signed by President Aquino on 12 September 2012. It will take effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. [See also: Full text of Republic Act No. 10175; Legal Wiki entry on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012] What is Cybersecurity? Cybersecurity refers to the collection of tools, policies, risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices, assurance and technologies that can be used to protect the cyber environment and organization and user’s assets. What are considered as cybercrimes? The cybyercrime law defines and punishes certain acts, generally classified as: (a) Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems; (b) Computer-related Offenses; and (c) Content-related Offenses. What are the offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems? 1. Illegal Access – The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right. 2. Illegal Interception – The interception made by technical means without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data. Interception refers to listening to, recording, monitoring or surveillance of the content of communications, including procuring of the content of data, either directly, through access and use of a computer system or indirectly, through the use of electronic eavesdropping or tapping devices, at the same time that the communication is occurring. 3. Data Interference — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses. 4. System Interference — The intentional alteration or reckless hindering or interference with the functioning of a computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right or authority, including the introduction or transmission of viruses. 5. Misuse of Devices. (i) The use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution, or otherwise making available, without right, of:
(aa) A device, including a computer program, designed or adapted primarily for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act; or (bb) A computer password, access code, or similar data by which the whole or any part of a computer system is capable of being accessed with intent that it be used for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act. (ii) The possession of an item referred to in paragraphs 5(i)(aa) or (bb) above with intent to use said devices for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under this section. 6. Cyber-squatting – The acquisition of a domain name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same, if such a domain name is: (i) Similar, identical, or confusingly similar to an existing trademark registered with the appropriate government agency at the time of the domain name registration: (ii) Identical or in any way similar with the name of a person other than the registrant, in case of a personal name; and (iii) Acquired without right or with intellectual property interests in it. What are the computer-related offenses? 1. Computer-related Forgery — (i) The input, alteration, or deletion of any computer data without right resulting in inauthentic data with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were authentic, regardless whether or not the data is directly readable and intelligible; or (ii) The act of knowingly using computer data which is the product of computer-related forgery as defined herein, for the purpose of perpetuating a fraudulent or dishonest design. 2. Computer-related Fraud — The unauthorized input, alteration, or deletion of computer data or program or interference in the functioning of a computer system, causing damage thereby with fraudulent intent: Provided, That if no damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower. 3. Computer-related Identity Theft – The intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether natural or juridical, without right: Provided, That if no damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower. What are the content-related offenses? 1. Cybersex — The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.
2. Child Pornography — The unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a computer system: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775. 3. Unsolicited
communication with the use of computer system which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services are prohibited unless: (i) There is prior affirmative consent from the recipient; or (ii) The primary intent of the communication is for service and/or administrative announcements from the sender to its existing users, subscribers or customers; or (iii) The following conditions are present: (aa) The commercial electronic communication contains a simple, valid, and reliable way for the recipient to reject. receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from the same source; (bb) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely disguise the source of the electronic message; and (cc) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely include misleading information in any part of the message in order to induce the recipients to read the message. 4. Libel — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future. What are the other offenses also punished under R.A. 10175? a. Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime. – Any person who willfully abets or aids in the commission of any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable. b. Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrime. — Any person who willfully attempts to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable. What is the effect of R.A. 10175 on crimes punished by the Revised Penal Code? A prosecution under R.A. 10175 shall be without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, or special laws. All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions ofR.A. 10175. However, the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may be.
We had a discussion, a primer of sorts, of the different cybercrimes under theCybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175). For those seeking additional information, the primer issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) may be helpful. For easy reference, we are reproducing the primer below: 1) What is a cybercrime? A cybercrime is a crime committed with or through the use of information and communication technologies
communication device or application. 2) How is a cybercrime different from a real-world crime? The main difference between a cybercrime and crime committed in the physical world is that cybercrime is committed with or through the use of information and communication technology. Furthermore, cybercrimes are punishable under special cybercrime laws and subject to distinct law enforcement provisions. 3) What are the types of cybercrime? There are various types and kinds of cybercrimes. The 2001 Budapest Convention on Cybercrime categorizes cybercrime offenses into four: (1) offences against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems; (2) computer-related offences; (3) content-related offences; and (4) offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights. 4) What is the global trend of cybercrime? Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crimes globally. According to Norton Cyber Crime Report, 431 million adults worldwide were victims of cybercrimes in 2011. The costs that cybercrimes caused in 2011 amounted to $114 billion. Globally, the top cybercrimes in 2011 were (1) computer viruses or malware – 54% overall; (2) online Scams – 11% overall; and (3) phishing – 10% overall. 5) What is the trend of cybercrime in the Philippines? In a 2010 report of the security software firm Symantec, 87% of Filipino internet users were identified as victims of crimes and malicious activities committed online. The following activities were: (1) malware (virus and Trojan) invasion; (2) online or phishing scams; (3) sexual predation; and (4) services in social networking site like Facebook and Twitter. The Anti-Transnational Crime Division (ATCD) of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has encountered 2,778 referred cases of computer crimes from government agencies and private individuals nationwide from 2003 to 2012. 6) What are the cybercrime-related laws in the Philippines?
The cybercrime-related laws in the country are: (1) RA 10175 – Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which is currently suspended due to a TRO issued by the Supreme Court; (2) RA 9995 – Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act of 2009; (3) RA 9725 – AntiChild Pornography Act of 2009; (4) RA 9208 – Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003; (5) RA 8792 – E-Commerce Act of 2000; (6) RA 8484 – Access Device Regulation Act of 1998; and (7) RA 4200 or Anti-Wiretapping Law. 7) What and when was the first recorded cybercrime in the Philippines? In 2000, Onel de Guzman released the ―I Love You‖ virus. The case filed against De Guzman was dismissed at the first stage because there was no law punishing the deed as of that time in May 2000, in the Philippines. 8) When was a law penalizing computer crimes or cybercrimes passed? On 14 June 2000, RA 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act was signed into law. RA 8792 positioned the Philippines as the third country to enact an e-commerce law, next to Singapore and Malaysia. The E-Commerce Act placed the Philippines on the list countries which penalize cybercrime. 9) In the Philippines, have we already convicted a cybercriminal? Yes. The first one was pursued by the PNP-CIDG; a person was convicted in September 2005 for pleading guilty of hacking the government portal ―gov.ph‖ and other government websites. The NBI pursued a cybercrime case that led to the second cybercrime conviction; the person used the BPO call center provider Sitel Philippines Corporation to illegally secure credit card information from the company’s sister firm, Sitel USA. The two convictions were secured under the Section 33(a) of RA 8972 that penalizes hacking. 10) What is the latest development in anti-cybercrime effort of the Philippine government? President Benigno Aquino signed into law RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 on September 12, 2012, which adopted the provisions of the first International Convention on Cybercrime. But the implementation of the new law which started on October 3, 2o12 was put on hold after 6 days, when the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the law last October 9, 2012, after 15 petitions were filed against it. As of the moment, cybercrime-related cases are dealt with using existing laws.