Senate Bill No. 2796, or CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT OF 2011 (filed on May 3, 2011 by Trillanes, Antonio “Sonny” F., Angara, Edgardo J., Enrile, Juan Ponce, Ejercito-Estrada, Jinggoy P., Lapid, Manuel “Lito” M., Villar, Manny B., Defensor Santiago, Miriam, Marcos, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R., Revilla Jr., Ramon A., Legarda, Loren B.) gets approved January 30, 2012 by the 15th Congress.
It is defined as “AN ACT DEFINING CYBERCRIME, PROVIDING FOR PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION AND IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” and the approved Bill can be accessed here.
The Senate Bill at a glance:
Section 4(a) – Computer Hacking and Security Breach.
Section 4(b) – Digital Forgery and Online Fraud.
Section 4(c) – Child Pornography, e-Whoring, and Unsolicited Commercial Communications, and Libel.
Section 5 – Attempts and Assisting of the said Offenses as described in the previous Sections.
The effect of this Act to the Filipino netizens are not yet fully understood. But comments are already posted about SB 2796 at a Philippine tech blog, Yugatech.
Personally I was a bit confused with the Anti-Cybercrime Bill. SB 2796 was so broad scoping.
For instance, “advertisements” can now be penalized under this Act, not unless you get a prior consent, provide an opt-out, and no misleading information to entice the user. What about blog sites that use contextual ads like Google Adsense? And how about in-line advertisements, can that constitute a misleading link to entice a user to click it? A blogger that only wants to monetize his/her blog can be put in jeopardy with this Senate Bill 2796.
Lastly, about the cyber-sex. Some of the comments was “Can a husband abroad, having cyber sex with his wife in the Philippines can be considered a criminally liable?”.
“It is prior restraint. It legislates morality. It tells us what is moral and immoral. That is not within the realm of the legislature. No one has the right to say what is moral and immoral and then make it a crime. – Sen. Teofisto Guingona III”
Senator Teofisto Guingona III casted out a negative vote on the bill and said that the definitions was in direct conflict of the freedom of speech and expression.
Lets just see what would happen next as the Bill is yet to be approved by the President.