A MEASURE seeking to establish safeguards in using the Internet has been passed at the Senate.
Voting 13-1, legislators approved on third and final reading Senate Bill (SB) 2796, which penalizes cybercrimes such as hacking and spamming.
Violators will be fined at least P200,000 or an amount commensurate to the damage caused. They can also be jailed for six years and a day up to 12 years.
Cyber-squatters -- those creating online content “in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation and deprive others from registering the same” -- also face similar penalties.
People who engage in cybersex “for favor or consideration”, meanwhile, face fines of up to P1 million along with jail terms, while child pornographers face penalties set under the Anti-Child Pornography law.
Those advertising and selling products or services via the Internet without the recipient’s consent face fines of P50,000-250,000 along with a jail term of up to six months.
SB 2796 calls for the creating of the Office of Cybercrime under the Department of Justice.
A National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council will also be established under the Office of the President, to be aided by the National Cybersecurity Center that will be established under the Science and Technology department.
The measure’s enactment into law is expected to take some time as a counterpart bill remains pending at the comittee level in the House of Representatives. -- Antonio Siegfrid O. Alegado