MANILA, Philippines - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now looking into whether hackers and hacktivists who continue to deface government websites in the wake of mounting opposition to Republic Act (RA) No. 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) are part of loose groups or acting on their own.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said she gave the directive to the NBI after the bureau was able to "trace" several personalities behind the hacking activities in the past week.
"As of last week, may mga natutukoy na sila na personalidad. Is it just for fun mga ginagawa nila or willingly violating the law? Pinapatunton ko na sa kanila (NBI) and mga personalities na naiinvolve. Is this a loose group or loosely formed group o magkakahiwalay?" De Lima said.
Hackers defaced official government websites, including the Official Gazette under the Office of the President, in protest of the controversial law being questioned for its "unconstitutional" provisions.
13 petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court (SC) questioning the following provisions of the law:
-- Sec. 4(c)(4), which criminalizes libel on cyberspace;
-- Sec. 5(a), which lists "aiding or abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime" as an additional offense under the law;
-- Sec. 6, which raises by one degree higher the penalties provided for by the Revised Penal Code for all crimes committed through and with the use of information and communications;
-- Sec. 7, which provides that apart from prosecution under the law, any person charged for the alleged offense covered will not be spared from violations of the Revised Penal Code and other special laws;
-- Sec. 12, which authorizes law enforcement authorities to collect or record, by technical or electronic means, traffic data in real-time; -
-- Sec. 14, which authorizes law enforcement authorities, armed with a court warrant, to require "any person or service provider to disclose or submit subscriber's information, traffic data or relevant data in his/its possession or control within 72 hours from receipt of the order in relation to a valid complaint officially docketed and assigned for investigation;"
-- Sec. 15, which authorizes law enforcement authorities to search, seize and examine computer data;
-- Sec. 19, which authorizes the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to block access to computer data when such data "is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act;"
-- Sec. 20, which states that those who fail to comply with provisions of the law's Chapter IV (Enforcement and Implementation), specifically orders from law enforcement agencies, shall face imprisonment of prision correctional (6 months and 1 day to 6 years) in its maximum period or a fine of P100,000 or both, for each noncompliance;
-- Sec. 24, which creates, beginning effectivity of the law on Oct. 3, an inter-agency body under the Office of the President (OP) to be known as the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) for "policy coordination" and "formulation and enforcement of the national cybersecurity plan;"
-- Sec. 26(a), which details the powers and functions of the CICC;
-- Sec. 28, which provides for the crafting of the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) by the Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST), DOJ, and the Dept. of Interior and Local Govt. (DILG); and
-- Sec. 29, pertaining to the separability clause which shields provisions of the law not rendered invalid from any declaration of invalidity by a competent court.
The petitioners are the following: Louis Biraogo, ALAM party-list, Disini, et al., Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, Adonis, et al., Rep. Palatino, et al., Bayan, et al., Sta. Maria, et al., NUJP, et al., Castillo, et al., Cruz, et al., Philippine Bar Association (PBA), and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.