[Mirror] Diaz, Ryan Danzen

Summer 2012

Liability vs Suability

RESOLVE: Whether or not foreign citizens could be held liable in defacing websites coming from the Philippines.

Disputes are supposed to be settled, conformably to one of the basic principles of United Nations, “by peaceful means in such manner that international peace and security, and justice are not endangered”(UN Charter, Art 2, par 3).

The on going tension between the Philippines and China has become the “trending” topic nowadays. Until when will this discussion be controversial? Or should I say until when will this debate be attuned to our interest?

The issue on whether a country can be held liable by hacking and defacing the websites of both the government through the Department of Budget and Management and the University of the Philippines website is quite problematic. The first thing that has to be considered is the issue on jurisdiction. Among the recognized principles of criminal jurisdiction as what was defined under the book of Justice Isagani Cruz on International law , the Philippines observes the territorial principle of jurisdiction which vests jurisdiction in the state where the offense was committed. In the issue at hand, hackers, as they are described in the article, who allegedly are responsible for such an act, are outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines in the exercise of its judicial function. Ergo, these people, in my opinion, cannot be held liable in the perpetuation of their act.

There is also what we call the protective jurisdiction which vests jurisdiction in the state whose national interest is injured which is directly related to the objective territorial jurisdiction by which a state takes jurisdiction to require, enforce, or adjudicate conduct for acts committed its territory having effects within it. But to distinguish it from the other, the latter permits a state to protect primarily private interests against actual injury. On the other hand, protective jurisdiction recognizes a state’s interest against the threat of harm(Buergenthal and Maier, Public International Law, 2nd edition 1990, p 172)[taken from the book of Justice Isagani Cruz, International Law]. In the two given definitions of jurisdiction, neither will they enforce jurisdiction on the above contemplated issue. In the issue of protective jurisdiction, it does not include hacking in contemplating the provisions of RA 8792 or the E-Commerce Act because in the first place there is no national security issue that is at stake in this sense. Besides, RA 8792 in prevailing jurisprudence is not applicable to criminal cases. Hence, in no way shall we acquire jurisdiction to hold them liable for such acts.

This problematic situation as regards the exercise of jurisdiction, I think, should be dealt with in order to settle this gap in the interpretation and implementation of the law.

government and morality

Should social media and internet tools essential in the acceptance of an applicant? Can companies and/or institutions use internet search tools and access to social media accounts in determining the most suitable candidate?

The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology (ICT) in nation building; the need to create an information-friendly environment which supports and ensures the availability, diversity and affordability of (ICT) products and services ….. (Republic Act 8792, Sec 2, Declaration of Policy).

Information technology, as contemplated by the provisions of e-commerce act, has played a vital role in nation building. The advent of modern technology has indeed been a great impact for a society to attain its full development in all its aspects be it in the field of telecommunications, infrastructures or even in the field of business. In other words, it has provided a vast solution to so many problems resulting to the rapid growth of society.

This development in the field of information technology includes the use of social media and internet tools in many aspects of man’s social condition. In the issue at hand as regards the necessity or its being essential in the acceptance of an applicant, I think it is of no debate if one is on the side of the company or institution. Every institution wants to have workers or employees who possess absolute integrity and honesty. In any field of work, if one person possesses this kind of attitude, the employer is at peace that there is no cheating nor anomaly that is happening in his company or place of business. When a person applies in a particular job position, it is of public knowledge that he ought to disclose all his positive qualities and capabilities for him to be qualified and to convince the employer that he deserves that position. He/she would not include his weaknesses nor negative attitude. No one in his sane mind would provide information that would be detrimental to his reputation. I would not like to sound as if I have no trust in people but in this field of business and employment, all of us would want to have a work place where people collaborate in the highest sense of professionalism and integrity.

Social media and internet tools are indeed highly essential in the acceptance of an applicant. This should be interpreted, however, not absolutely to the point that we invade other people’s right. There are of course limitations and parameters in its use. Institutions must only confine themselves to what is material to their employment. But if information is gathered questioning the integrity and honesty of one person, it must be taken very strictly.

Not all people have attained the level of maturity as regards their values. Still many people have their own selfish and personal interests which are dangerous in an employment. This is the reason why institutions, I believe, should resort to other means to ensure and establish peaceful, honest and professional work environment. In the end it would be the people they serve who would benefit from such practice for the common good.

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