The “ILOVE YOU” computer virus has led the Philippines to the early passage of Republic Act 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 which has two (2) provisions under Section 33 of the said law that enumerates and penalizes the following acts: computer hacking, Introduction of computer virus, and copyright infringement. Other laws related to cybercrime are: Republic Act 8484 or the Access Devices Regulation Act; and other traditional cases such as violations of the Revised Penal Code and Special Laws.
In September 2012, Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III has signed the Republic No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 into law. Under the law, the Office of Cybercrime under the DOJ and an inter-agency body known as the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) under the Office of the President will be created.
The Office of Cybercrime shall be designated as the central authority in all matters related to international mutual assistance and extradition. Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data systems, illegal access and the like shall constitute the offense of cybercrime punishable under this act. Other punishable offenses under the new law include illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, computer-related forgery, computer-related fraud, computer-related identity theft, cybersex, child pornography, unsolicited commercial communications, cyber squatting, libel and so on.
Other existing Philippine laws punishing Internet crimes
- RA 10627 (Anti-Bullying Act of 2013)
- RA 9995 (Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act of 2009)
- RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009)
- RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003)
- PD 1602 as amended by RA 9287 (Penalties on Illegal Online Gambling)
The Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PHCERT) is a non-profit organization that aims to provide reliable and trusted point of contact for computers, Internet and other information technology related emergencies.
PHCERT provides support to their constituents in an advocate or advisory capacity, serves as the focal point for reporting computer security vulnerabilities and provides coordinated support in response to such reports, generates technical analysis reports pertaining to malicious code, provides information on upcoming technology that may pose security threats, and interacts with both internal and external parties to develop and maintain trust relationships.
At the national level, government authorities maintain close coordination on computer-related incidents and cyber crime. Private-Public Partnership (PPP) is also practiced as exemplified by the partnership among the PNP-CIDG, Microsoft - Government Security Program (GSP), and the Philippines Computer Emergency Response Team (PHCERT).
On March 19, 2015, the PNP-ACG ANGELNET Summit entitled “Protect Our Children Online” was conducted at the PNP Multi-purpose Hall, Camp Crame, Quezon City. The said summit aimed to promote awareness and build strong partnership, cooperation and collaboration with front liners in combating online child sexual abuses and exploitation. It also highlighted the role and responsibility of the government agency as Child Advocate in the protection of the well-being of the children and the signing of pledge of commitment by the invited participants in combating online child abuses.
WORKSHOP ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT DESIGN: #STOPCHILDPORNPH – Held at the Lewis Grand Hotel, Angeles City, Pampanga on 02-04 September 2015. The DSWD through the Social Technology Bureau (STB) is developing a project regarding Online Prevention Against Child Pornography, to develop a project for the online prevention of child pornography and empower the children, their parents/guardians and other child duty-bearers in responding to child online protection issues and problem. The following are the results discussion during the workshop:
a. Development of online reporting hotline/system.
b. Documentation of local and international trends on cybercrime specifically on online child sexual abuse and exploitation which will be translated to online information and education materials.
c. Establishment of online education website, social media page, online kiosk and mobile applications to prevent and advocate against child pornography.
d. Strengthening the advocacy campaign, public awareness, dialogue, symposium, training, and massive information drive.
e. Involvement of advertising agency for prints ads, television and radio infomercials.
f. Active participation of Barangay Officials and community being the grassroots.
g. Inter-Agency partnership, cooperation, coordination, collaboration, information exchange and linkages for an effective and efficient law enforcement action.
h. Strict implementation of laws, (local and national legislation), ordinances, rules and regulation.
Arrest Operations: A total of 33 police operations were conducted against cyber criminals for the CY 2015 by the PNP-ACG. This led to the arrest of 128 persons for the given year.
Other PNP-ACG Accomplishment on Police Initiated Operations (January-March 17, 2016)
On February 26, 2016, operatives of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group arrested five (5) suspects engaged in Cybersex and the rescue of One (1) minor at Quiricada St., Tondo, Manila. Cases for violation of Sec 4 (c) 1 (Cybersex) of Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act) and R.A. 7610 were filed against the arrested suspects.
On February 29, 2016, operatives of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group arrested Twenty Seven (27) individuals engaged in Cybersex Operations at Brgy Kapitan Pepe, Cabanatuan City. Cases for violation of Sec 4 (c) 1 (Cybersex) of Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) and Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code were filed against the arrested suspects.
On March 06, 2015, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) raided a house in Pateros, Metro Manila that was being used as a cybersex den. The NBI rescued an 11-year-old girl who had been forced to work in the said house. The property is located across the street from the home of a barangay councilor and a block from the municipal police station. The operation was based from a tip from the US Department of Homeland security. Identified one of the 4 suspects was Victor Amarillo, who is believed to be the operator of the cybersex den. Amarillo has been in the cybersex business for at least two years. Amarillo gets $50 as payment per customer while the girls get paid P300.
A mother was arrested by the elements of the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division, (NBI-AHTRAD) along with the US Homeland Security for using her own 10-year-old daughter in a cybersex operation in Taguig City.
The suspect charged her foreign and local clients 30 dollars to 100 dollars to watch her daughter strip in front of a web-cam.
Charges of human trafficking and violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act are set to be filed against the suspect.
TOP 10 CYBERCRIME CASES INVESTIGATED 2015
The Philippine National Police-Anti-Cyber Crime Group (PNP-ACG) has created Computer Crime Unit (CCU) as the PNP’s operating arm to conduct investigation, operations, and coordination with other concerned agencies on cybercrimes to address computer-related crime incidents in the country. With the activation of the CCU, the US Department of State Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program (US DOJ- ATAP) donated computer forensic equipment.
Digital Forensic Laboratories - As part of the Philippines’ capability and capacity build up in fighting cyber crimes or computer related crimes, the Anti-Cybercrime Group Regional Digital Forensic Laboratories were established. Currently, there are seven (7) computer forensic laboratories located at Camp Crame, Legazpi City, Cebu City, Davao City, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga City. These offices are capable of conducting computer forensic examination, mobile forensic examination, audio and video forensic examination.
The Special Project Angel Net is established purposely to address Internet based-concerns and abuses and to promote Internet safety and prevent its dangers among the children. “Angel Net”, which was part of the PNP’s Internet Child Protection Program, would protect the minors from “Internet fraud, Internet addiction, cyber stalking, cyber bullying, cyber trafficking, child pornography, on-line gambling and other Internet-related abuses.
In 2013, Terre des Hommes Netherlands initiated the “Sweetie” Project aimed at drawing attention to the online exploitation of children and to demonstrate how easy it is to identify the perpetrators. By using computer animation technology, a virtual 10-year old Philippine girl, Sweetie was created which allowed researchers to identify 1,000 pedophiles from 71 countries within 10 weeks. There was high worldwide media coverage and an Australian was arrested and convicted.
“Sweetie 2.0” was launched recently in the continuing pursuit of protecting children from traveling and online sex offenders. Terre des Hommes Netherlands, in close cooperation with international specialists, developed advanced software to tackle online sexual abuse of children worldwide, to be known as “Sweetie 2.0”.
To systematically improve and strengthen the current law enforcement capability, continuous attendance and participation of its personnel to various trainings, seminars, workshop and conferences both local and abroad are essential to be abreast with the recent development in cyber technology.
Aside from the series of digital forensic equipment grant given by the U.S Department of State, Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program (ATAP), the ATAP is also committed in the technical and investigative development of the ATCD-CIDG personnel particularly those who are assigned in Computer Crime Unit (CCU) and Digital Forensic Laboratories (DFL). The U.S Department of State, ATAP have conducted various trainings in cyber crime investigation and digital forensic examination from the year 2003 to present.
1. Individual Training Program. Several programmed and uprogrammed courses were availed by ACG personnel to improve their competencies and inculcate the core values necessary in the performance of their duties.
2. Specialized Training Program. Recognizing the value of having the precise skills and competencies for the right job, a total of 25 specialized trainings were attended by the personnel of this Group.
3. Unit Training Program. Out of 135 PNP ACG personnel, 111 have undergone the Introduction to Cybercrime Investigation Course (ICIC); 91 on Identification and Seizure of Digital Evidence (ISDE); 89 on Introduction to Digital Forensics and Investigation (IDFI); and 86 on Proactive Investigation Investigation Course. Likewise, 67 personnel have already completed the four basic “foundation” courses designed for this Group and became a qualified “Cyber Cops”.
For CY 2015, a total of four (4) unit training courses have been successfully completed for this year namely: Introduction to Cybercrime Investigation Course (ICIC); Identification and Seizure of Digital Evidence;
4. Foreign Training Program. For the period covered, Forty Eight (48) ACG personnel were sent abroad to undergo trainings in different countries
- INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION WORKSHOP ON CYBERCRIME – Attended this workshop in Clarkfield, Pampanga on 14 and 15 July 2015. The said workshop was hosted by the Department of Justice in partnership with Council of Europe (COE) and the European Union (EU) Global Action on Cybercrime (GLACY).
- 1st INTERPOL Train-the-Trainer Workshop on Computer Forensics for the Eurasian Region in China
- Cyber Security Symposium in Hong Kong
Strategic Meeting on Payment Card Fraud
- INTERPOL Experts’ Meeting: Course Design on Terrorism, Social Media and Internet in Singapore