Senator laments lack of anti-cybercrime law

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2011 03:20 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2011 11:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senate science and technology committee chair Edgardo Angara vowed to pass an anti-cybercrime law, which the Philippines currently does not have.

Angara's committee on Monday conducted a hearing on several anti-cybercrime measures pending in the Senate, including three Cybercrime Prevention Acts, an Anti-Spyware Act, and an Anti-Phishing Act.

Angara said the law is badly needed in a country where 30 percent of the people are Internet users, many of whom are vulnerable to online crimes like credit card number theft.

He also cited the use for cell phones to detonate bombs.

The perpetrators behind these crimes often get away scot-free, Angara said.

"Sapagkat they are protected, hindi mo malaman, hindi pa tayo malakas mag-trace kung sino. Hindi katulad ng sa Amerika, ang bilis," he said.

One of the features of an anti-cybercrime law, the senator said, is the purchase of equipment that would allow authorities to track down online criminals within 24 hours.

During the hearing, some officials of the National Bureau of Investigation even proposed that laptops be registered with the government for easier monitoring.

However, Sen. Francis Escudero, chair of the justice and human rights committee, sees no need for it and believes it would only invade a person's privacy.

"Para sa akin OA (over acting) na 'yon)," he said. "Marahil mas madaling i-monitor sa parte ng law enforcement agencies natin ang ISP o internet service providers para kahit anong gadget man ang gamitin-laptop man o cell phone o kahit ano mang maiimbento pa-mas kaya nilang ma-monitor nang hindi ganun kalaking paglabag ng privacy hg sinumang indibidwal na mamamayan."