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    2022
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What Is Cybercrime Law in the Philippines All about

Substantive law focuses on the substance of the crime, such as the elements of a crime, which include the prohibited conduct (actus reus – „guilty act”) and the mental element (mens rea – „guilty mind”). Different states may choose to criminalize different behaviors by selecting different elements that constitute a crime. Alternatively, states may criminalize the same behavior, but laws may always differ in what „state of mind” makes them responsible for their behavior (i.e., the degree of criminal culpability). To this end, laws criminalizing unauthorized access to computer systems and data, for example, vary from country to country, depending on the degree of intent of an alleged criminal (see the „Degree of criminal guilt” box below). This has been replaced by several cybercrime-related bills introduced in the 14th and 15th Congresses. The Cybercrime Prevention Act was ultimately the product of House Bill No. 5808, drafted by Rep. Susan Yap-Sulit of Tarlac`s Second District and 36 other co-authors, and Senate Bill No. 2796, proposed by Senator Edgardo Angara. Both laws were passed by their respective chambers in one day, on June 5 and 4, 2012, shortly after Renato Corona`s impeachment, and the final version of the law was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on September 12. Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia division at Human Rights Watch, said, „The Cybercrime Act must be repealed or replaced: „It violates Filipinos` right to freedom of expression and is totally incompatible with the Philippine government`s obligations under international law. „As long as it is upheld, the new cybercrime law will have a deterrent effect on the entire Philippine online community,” Adams said. The rules of evidence and criminal procedure include the criteria used to determine whether digital evidence is admissible in court (Maras, 2014).

Those rules prescribe how digital evidence is documented, collected, stored, transmitted, analysed, stored and secured in order to ensure its admissibility before national courts. To be admissible, the digital proof is authenticated and its integrity is established. Authentication procedures include identifying the source or author of the digital evidence (i.e., information about the identity of the source) and verifying the integrity of the evidence (i.e., that it has not been altered, altered or damaged in any way). Maintaining a chain of custody, a detailed record of evidence, the status of evidence, its collection, storage, access and transmission, as well as the reasons for its access and transmission, is essential to ensure the admissibility of digital evidence in most courts (UNODC, 2013, p. 54; Maras, 2014). The rules of evidence and criminal procedure are not standardized between countries. Similar rules of evidence and criminal procedure are needed for cybercrime, as this form of crime crosses borders and affects digital devices and systems all over the world with an internet connection. The law provides for the establishment of a Cybercrime Office within the Ministry of Justice, which is to be the central authority for all matters related to international mutual legal assistance and extradition, and a Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Centre, which, among other things, is empowered to formulate a national cybersecurity plan and expand immediate support for the suppression of the Cybercrime Commission in real time. It`s important to keep two things in mind here.

First, local law enforcement (law enforcement) will only take place if it is in the public interest to be prosecuted, but many mass cybercrimes such as minor Internet fraud are de minimis non curat lex, as they are individually considered too weak to be investigated and prosecuted by the police. However, they can have significant collective effects at the international level and must therefore be subject to international law. Second, „If a strong justification for criminalizing a particular behavior does not exist in the law, there may be a risk of moral or cultural overcriminalization. In this regard, international human rights law is an important tool for assessing criminal law against an external international standard” (UNODC, 2013, p. 54) (see section on international human rights law and cybercrime). Instead of developing new special laws against cybercrime, some countries have amended their national laws or codes and added specific paragraphs to combat cybercrime. With this practice, an interesting consequence to consider has been that some countries have decided to separately criminalize the illegal use of information and communication technologies to commit crimes. Thus, if the perpetrator used illegal access to commit counterfeiting or fraud, such conduct would constitute two crimes at the same time.

The Cybercrime Repository of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which is part of the SHERLOC knowledge management portal, contains a database of national laws and jurisprudence on cybercrime. The Cybercrime Act establishes standards of acceptable behaviour for users of information and communication technologies (ICTs); establishes social sanctions in the event of cybercrime; protects ICT users in general and reduces and/or prevents damage to people, data, systems, services and infrastructure in particular; protects human rights; investigates and prosecutes crimes committed online (outside of traditional real-world environments); and facilitates cooperation between countries on cybercrime issues (UNODC, 2013, p. 52). The Cybercrime Act provides rules of conduct and standards of conduct for the use of the Internet, computers and related digital technologies, as well as for the actions of public, state and private organizations. rules of evidence and criminal procedure as well as other criminal cases in cyberspace; and rules to mitigate risks and/or mitigate damage to individuals, organisations and infrastructure in the event of cybercrime. Accordingly, cybercrime law includes substantive, procedural and preventive law. The cybercrime law could result in internet users being sentenced to up to 12 years in prison for posting defamatory comments on Facebook or Twitter. A new Philippine law on „cybercrime” significantly increases penalties for criminal defamation and gives authorities excessive and unchecked powers to shut down websites and monitor online information, Human Rights Watch said today. .

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