Monday, November 22, 2010

(#2) We survive because we must – the need for an Anti-Cybercrime law

At the start of the new millennium, the Philippines became world (in)famous because of the “love bug”
[1] (a.k.a. “iloveyou” virus[2]).

A decade after, several government websites were hacked, and the Philippines still does not have an Anti-Cybercrime law. Although RA 8792 or the E-Commerce Act of 2000 is a cyber-security legislation, it only penalizes hacking, cracking and piracy. It does not provide penalties for other cybercrimes such as cyber-fraud and similar offenses.

It’s disturbing that “[n]o ICT-related law was passed for the past 10 years, despite the rapid growth of the ICT industry in the Philippines”
[4]. I understand that it’s difficult for the government in general, and the legislators in particular, to keep up with the ICT breakthroughs to formulate laws to penalize conduct inimical to state interest. But no matter how hard it is, it must be done.

ICT revolutionized our way of life because it has such great power to create but concomitantly, it also has such immense power to destroy, which is extremely dangerous considering that we’re fast becoming an ICT-enabled world and ICT-reliant society. (I say that even with the digital divide in this Third World country because the seats of power i.e., the central government as well as urban centers who are the decision-makers and movers that make things happen are largely ICT-dependent.)

Enacting an Anti-Cybercrime law is a matter of survival in this globalized world – a must for a nation’s self-protection, and for recovery of state control to implement order in this increasingly virtual world.


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