Monday, August 22, 2011

virtual vulnerability

30 percent of the Filipino people have access to the "world wide web", which means…

28 million Filipinos are potential victims to all sort of crimes in that other "world", in fact...

87 percent of Filipino Internet users "have fallen prey in one way or another to various kinds of malicious activities through the Internet."

Such statistics* compelled the Department of Justice to release an Advisory Opinion No.5 last August 10 warning the public of perennial risks and threats to their virtual identities.

The advisory provides for two categories of cyber crimes in the Philippines: Internet crimes and Commercial Crimes committed with the use of the Internet. Internet crime is defined as an unlawful activity committed through the electronic media, such as Internet, cellular phones and android phones, and other digital devices, involving deception, fraudulence, exploitation, unauthorized access to private information, and other lawful acts.

QTV’s infotainment program "Ang-Pinaka", in one of its episodes aired recently, counted down “ang pinaka-laganap na cyber crimes”:

10-cyber defamation

9 -cyber bullying


7-denial of service attack






1-virus dissemination

The prevalence and variety of these cyber crimes are beyond dispute. In response to this, the Philippines has already crafted several laws penalizing Internet crimes, e.g. RA 9995 (Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act of 2009); RA 9775 (Anti-child Pornography Act of 2009); and RA 9208 (Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003). However, as in any other category of crime, the issue has always been the sufficiency of these laws and more importantly, their implementation.

For the public, awareness of the existence of threats to their identity and security in the world wide web is not enough. They should stand vigiliant and take the necessary precautionary measures (even as simple as securing a password or as intuitive as thinking twice about “talking to strangers” online).

For the government, their duty to the public does not end with their acknowledgement of the prevalence of these cyber crimes. The dynamic character of the perpetration of crimes committed online calls for a proactive stance and an equally dynamic approach to address this growing concern.

-Cris Bernardino, entry # 10


*study conducted by Internet security company Symantec

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