PHCERT’s OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON RA10175
The road to RA10175 otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 was long. PHCERT, as a member of the Legal Committee of the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council, predecessor of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, had initiated the drafting of Privacy and Anti-Cybercrime bills. The Anti-Cybercrime Bill in particular was modeled after the Budapest Convention.
11 years and four congresses, the proposed bill went through several iterations. At least the proposed bill, now RA10175, still reflects some of the provisions of the model law, though some of the technical definitions appear to be inconsistent. As legislative processes go, certain provisions managed to either disappear or find their way into the draft which veered away from the model law and the original intent of the drafters along with the constitutional safeguards that were put in place. As the law becomes effective today, it is preceded by protests and several petitions filed in court by netizens criticizing that some of the provisions are unconstitutional. PHCERT laments the existence of the questioned provisions and acknowledges that it can potentially stifle our civil liberty and right to freedom of expression if left unchecked.
We however maintain that the Law has provisions that can benefit the country in its goal of promoting and creating a secure computing environment where businesses can take hold and flourish. We are therefore one and in consonance with our brothers and sisters of the Internet community in calling out for the correction and/or repeal of the questionable provisions while maintaining the ones which have legitimate purpose that is of the mitigation if not elimination of computer and Internet related crimes and which do not infringe in any of the civil liberties of our countrymen.