Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 3 Of 15 Cybercrime Prevention Act

The modern technology provides us a much easier way to rave and rant or so we thought. While turmoil and discontentment can be expressed in more ways than one, taking everything to social media may not be a good idea due to the existence of cybercrime prevention law or the Republic Act No. 10175. 

Social networking sites are now the modern avenue for expressions. Views and opinions can spread like wild fire, thanks to the ‘share’ button of an immensely popular social networking site. However, you may need to think before you click because there are corresponding penalties for people who break rules and cross lines. 

The penalties are outlined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code. This is quite interesting because the provision has been ruled out since the Spanish era. While critics were apprehensive about the degree of penalty, the government officials rejoiced. Need I say more?

Let’s have a look at what the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is all about.

As highlighted in Sec. 4 of the Republic Act No. 10175, the following acts are considered punishable:

a. Offenses made against the integrity, availability and confidentiality of computer systems and data:

• Data Interference: When a person deletes or damages computer data, or electronic data message, without permission including transmission or introduction of viruses, he or she is guilty of committing data interference. Reckless alteration and deterioration of computer data also fall under this category.

• Illegal Access: An unauthorized access to the whole or any part of a computer system.

• Illegal Interception: If an interception is made without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system, a person commits illegal interception. 

• Misuse of Devices: A person violates the law if devices are sold, distributed, imported or made available without right. These devices include computer program, access code and computer password.

• System Interference: Any intentional alteration or reckless interference or hindering with the functioning of a computer network or a computer by damaging, inputting, deleting, deteriorating or altering computer program or data are considered system interference. This also includes transmission or introduction of viruses.

• Cyber-squatting: If a domain name is acquired over the internet to mislead, profit, deprive others from registering the same domain name and destroying reputation, the crime of cyber-squatting is committed. Some examples include identical or existing trademark, the name is similar or identical with a person other than the registrant and domain name acquired without permission or right. 

b. Computer-related Offenses:

• Computer-related forgery: This includes deletion, input or alteration of any computer data without permission resulting in inauthentic data with the intent of making them available for legal purposes as if it were authentic. Dishonest and fraudulent designs are also considered computer-related forgery.

• Computer-related fraud: This crime refers to the unauthorized alteration, deletion or input of computer program or data which cause interference in the functioning of a computer system  or damage.

• Computer-related identity theft: If a person intentionally acquire, transfer, use, misuse, alter, possess or delete identifying information belonging to another, whether judicial or natural without permission or right, he or she commits the crime.

c. Content-related Offenses

• Cybersex: The control, operation, maintenance or willful engagement directly or indirectly of any lascivious exhibition of sexual activity or sexual organs with the help of a computer system in exchange of consideration or favor.

• Child Pornography: The prohibited or unlawful acts, which are also punishable by RA No. 9775 or also known as the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed with the use of a computer system.

• Unsolicited Commercial Communications: The offense refers to transmission of commercial electronic communication using a computer system, which seek to sell, advertise or offer for sale services and products without consent.

• Libel: As defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, libel can be committed through a computer system or any other similar means. 

The Cybercrime Law has a broad scope and the hopes are still high that it will soon be abolished. While this law is still at work, make sure you don’t commit any of these offenses.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney

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