Angara: Better to have law against cybercrime

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[/caption] Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said the Cybercrime Law is a first attempt at creating a rules-based framework for the detection, investigation, apprehension, prosecution, and prevention of Internet-driven crimes. “I think we ought to put this law into perspective. We’re much better off with cyberlaws rather than have a cyberspace without any form of regulation. Otherwise, we would be operating in a large universe without rules — an open frontier where anything goes,” said Angara. He explained that having a framework for the Internet, which is built on agreed-upon rules, opens up the opportunity for e-commerce, e-government, and e-learning to thrive in the country. “We need ICT to make our government more effective and efficient. We need e-learning to create a far-reaching, mass educational system. We need safe and secure systems for commerce to flourish even more via the Internet.” The lawmaker then conceded that there may have been some omissions, although not deliberate, because the measure is the product of not just a single mind. “Lawmaking is like that. Not all the laws we pass are perfect, but we are quick to recognize and amend the mistakes,” added Angara assuring members of the media and online public that immediate steps are being taken to correct oversights in the newly signed law. “However, I don’t want to give the impression that I am shifting the blame to anyone. I take responsibility because I was the one who put it all together. Either way, I believe that those who provided inputs are responsible, reasonable people.” He admitted reservations on some provisions of the law particularly on providing the Department of Justice (DOJ) the authority to close down websites and other Web properties which have been attacked. He emphasized that no administrative nor judicial body can look into or intercept the Internet use or communication of any person without a court order. “When somebody has a complaint, he or she must go to court to get a warrant — the same rule of fairness applies in both traditional and new media.” He then called on his fellow lawmakers to amend the ?takedown? provision and to equalize the penalty of online libel either through amendments or in the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR). “I don’t want the criticism to overwhelm the overall purpose of this law. I still believe we are much better off with the Cybercrime Prevention law in operation rather than having to navigate what is essentially a wide, wide universe without rules,” Angara said. Sen. Teofisto ?TG? Guingona III, however, said in similar interview that the IRR cannot cure the inherent defects of the law. ?The law itself has provisions that are unconstitutional and they cannot be corrected by IRR. They should first be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and then we can make amendments,? he said. ]]>

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