Austria, Jon Michael

Summer 2012


Hackers! Beware!

Whether or not foreign nationals can be prosecuted by defacing our website? How will make them liable?

Under RA 8792, Philippines E-Commerce Law, Sec 33 (a) Hacking or cracking which refers to unauthorized access into or interference in a computer system/server or information and communication system; or any access in order to corrupt, alter, steal, or destroy using a computer or other similar information and communication devices, without the knowledge and consent of the owner of the computer or information and communications system, including the introduction of computer viruses and the like, resulting in the corruption, destruction, alteration, theft or loss of electronic data messages or electronic document shall be punished by a minimum fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and a maximum commensurate to the damage incurred and a mandatory imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years;

This law provides that the hackers will be penalized. In the case, the perpetrators are foreign nationals; the concept of territorial jurisdiction is ineffective to prosecute them. Determining the perpetrators is difficult since they can be located in different countries and may utilize computer systems in several countries in the course of attacking the victim.

Since the question of jurisdiction is involved, cooperation with foreign law enforcement authorities will bring the perpetrators to our court. Solving the issue of the jurisdiction requires country to work harmonizing substantive laws and cooperation between law enforcement agencies. We may exercise extradition treaty. However, our extradition treaties are limited only and it requires that the crime committed is punishable by both requesting and requested countries, thus not all foreign nationals can be extradited. For the apprehension of those perpetrators under countries that were not covered by the extradition treaties will be base only to the discretion of such country in international cooperation.

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