January 24, 2012
ANGARA: AMENDMENTS TO CYBERCRIME BILL
Senator Edgardo J. Angara manifested on the Senate floor today key amendments to the proposed Cybercrime Bill which legislate the creation of new government offices.
Filed last year by Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Senate Bill No. 2796) provides for a legal framework under which designated authorities can investigate, apprehend and prosecute individuals for such Internet-related crimes as online theft, fraud and hacking.
"Based on inputs from some of my fellow legislators and other resource persons, we amended certain portions of the bill to clearly delineate which agencies will be considered competent authorities," said Angara. "Whenever it was appropriate or necessary for the full implementation of the measure, we included stipulations for the establishment of new government offices."
The amendments designate an Office of Cybercrime, under the Department of Justice, as the central authority in all matters related to international mutual assistance and extradition.
They also mandate the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO) to create a National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) which will be responsible to formulate and implement a national cybersecurity policy, among others.
A National Cybersecurity Coordinating Council (NCCC) will also be established under the Office of the President and directed to create and execute a national cybersecurity plan.
The NCCC shall be chaired by the Executive-Director of the DOST-ICTO with the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Chief of the Philippine National Police and the Head of the Office of Cybercrime under the DOJ sitting in as members. Representatives from the private sector and the academe will also be selected to be part of the NCCC.
"Spreading functions and responsibilities across different agencies ensures that cybersecurity policy in the country enjoys full support from the government," stressed Angara. "To further ensure success, we included a provision that annually appropriates P50 million for the implementation of the act."
After all the individual amendments were approved, the Cybercrime Prevention Bill was passed on Second Reading today.
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