Its been a working Friday night for me the past two Fridays. I hosted the 11th Philippine Web Awards last night and it was fun, to say the least. :) While getting ready to go onstage, I found myself beside this dude named Ray, whom I later on find out is the Chair of the CICT.
I asked him about the latest in his Commission and he said they were on their way out with a Cybercrime law. I asked if he thought it was necessary considering existing statutes and he said that indeed it was since the E-commerce law only punishes hacking and downloading. He also said that more than the penal provisions, the new law would look have provisions requiring providers to store data to enable to government to track and identify violators. I pointed out that the storage requirement might prove to be onerous considering the volume of the data to be stored (he said 6 months' worth!) He said that it won't be storing the data per se but only information such as the subscriber, the IP address and usage logs. I would have asked him to expound but he had to go and give his welcome remarks already.
I agree that IP addresses and user logs would be helpful in operationalizing the state's effort to catch violators. However, I am a very realistic person - so I say its all a matter of proof. I think it would be difficult to explain the concept of an IP address to a judge, more so convince him/her of its probative value considering that it is not a permanent designation. I also wonder what type of penalty would serve as a deterrent for a violator. Jail time? Permanent deprivation of internet use? The law would have to be creative, and lawyers, even more so. :)