Chaguile, Michelle

SY 2012-2013, Second Semester


The effect of RA 10173 in my life

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is look at the time on my phone, snooze or turn off the alarm during early morning appointments. After all the all the stretching and thinking for awhile, I get up and make myself a warm cup of coffee, I then proceed to the veranda and spend some time enjoying the new morning. I then check if I have messages or calls that I missed during the night.

Before I enjoy reading the papers bought by my mom after her work out, since I am far away from home, I just open the TV to watch the morning news, but if I didn’t get to catch the morning show, I browse the internet and check the news for the day or featured articles.

When I am at my office, my day starts by checking my email, I check for clients queries, if my boss left me things that I need to do, messages from friends and of course, deleting the spam mail. I simultaneously open my email with the social network Facebook to check on recent happenings in people’s lives as well as new posts on my own wall. When I am in the food, I even post my own shout out.

For the past 2 years, it already became my habit to send a message or wall post to my dear friend at Singapore; I update her about our daily activities with her daughter Anica which she left with me. I also frequently post videos and pictures for her to visualize the things that we are doing and to assure that her daughter is happy and alright.

During weekends, we make sure we video chat her, we usually spend the whole morning talking with her while doing our usual thing to make her as if she was with us. We usually cook while were online, she teaches us cooking techniques since she is a chef at a hotel abroad.

Judith, sends us money for the maintenance and schooling of her daughter, she usually sends the monthly budget of her daughter via remittance centers through bank. It usually takes a day before it reflects in my account, but there are times that it gets lost in transit where it takes around three to five days before I receive it. Sometimes she makes use of door to door remittance centers if she does not have time to drop by the bank which is basically the same as that of the bank.

There are times when I am too lazy to go to the bank to check on my account balance or if I already received the money Judith sent me, I usually check it on Banc net online. This website carries almost all the bank in the country. All you have to do is to type in your card number and the password of your account then instantly it will already show your outstanding balance.

During my birthday last January, she sent me an I phone 4. I am not really a “techie” person but I instantly got addicted to it. I frequently download applications such as games, entertainment, music, references, socials and the like. My all in one gadget is what I carry with me everywhere I go. There are applications that are free and those that need to be bought, but in both instances you will be required to log in and enter your credit card number in case you have online purchases.

One summer, my dear friend told me to prepare our legal documents for she plans to bring me and her daughter abroad, I already have my passport but Anica needs to apply for one. I experienced before the first time I applied the long cue at DFA Pasay. I went there very early in the morning so that I could be accommodated since they have a cut off daily. They only accept around 100 applicants, after that you have to return the next day. Once I was inside the DFA premises, it took me more or less the whole day to finish the application process.

When my passport expired, I heard about the online renewal application of DFA which i availed of. When I entered the website they required several confidential information such as my whole name, address, birth date and passport number. If I leave an important box blank, I would not be able to get to the next step where the schedule of my appointment will be posted. After filling out all the boxes, I was given a schedule almost 15 days after my
application. When the said date arrived, I was there at the usual office hours not the very early morning appearance, then it only took me half a day to get my passport. Finding it more convenient, I again availed of the online services of DFA to apply for Anica’s passport.

Technology now plays a very important role in our lives, the morning I wake up until the time I go back to sleeps, technology is still being applied. Considering all the things it can do and contributes in our lives it already becomes unimaginable to live life without it.

It would be very hard to communicate to other people. Snail mails takes days before it reaches its recipient unlike email with could be received instantly. Before, after we have set an appointment, we just wait for the person to arrive, but now with just one text we could ask their whereabouts or inform them whether we could arrive or not.

Everyone is now dependent in the use of technology in their everyday lives thus, it is a must that a law be passed to limit the use or abuse of such.

Before the only report of usual abuse of the use of information technology is the hacking of accounts of individuals. Experts usually break into corporations’ database and acquire the account numbers and pass code. Some who hacked financial records used the information they acquired to purchase items online and charge it to original user, there are also instances where they used the account of another to defame the user or other people in its network.

Then, due to the proliferation of social networks sites where one can even post their photos and videos, it became easier for abusers to create a crime. There was once a report I watched on television about a doctor who gave to his online friends his home address, his online friends went to his home and attacked which resulted to his death. The said assailants were caught by the video they themselves captured.

This was not the first time, there were several similar cases reported where a crime was committed due to the use of social networks and text messaging. Warning is not enough to prevent the commission of crimes, what is necessary is a law penalizing the abusers and violators of technology.

The enactment of RA 10173 known as “An act protecting individual personal information in information and communications systems in the government and the private sector creating for the purpose a national privacy commission and for other purposes”.

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 aims to protect the fundamental human right of privacy of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth. The state recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology in nation building and its inherent obligation to ensure that personal information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector are secured and protected. Right of privacy of communication is necessary to every individual. Most of the people now make use of technology in communicating via texts, calls and internet. There are times that sensitive issues are being tackled online such as family relations or business and trade. If the right to privacy is violated it may tend to prejudice and jeopardize the personal and business affairs of people.

People are entitled to their own privacy for them to be able to do their personal affairs without being subjected to scrutiny or judgment. Even showbiz celebrities being public figures still keeps several matters confidential such as their name and personal circumstances in order to protect themselves and their families from people of no legitimate concern to them.

I remember years ago when I opened an account with one of the commercial banks at Katipunan. The moment I faced the teller and told her I intend to open a savings account, there was a sudden glaze in her eyes which make me wondered. She started talking to me and asked personal questions such as whether I was working or studying or whether I was single or in a relationship.

I pleasingly replied that I was single. When I gave my 1×1 picture which happened to be my graduation picture, she told me that I look like Kristine Hermosa…hmmmm. She then told me that he has a 24 year old son currently taking up law at San Beda University. She told me that her son had been single for quite some time and maybe I would be interested. Since my business with the bank was done, I just smiled at her and thank her for assisting me.

One evening, I suddenly got a call from an anonymous number; since I am into sales I am accustomed to answer such calls. To my shock, he introduced himself as the son of the bank teller. He told me that his mom told a lot of things about me. I tried to end the call telling him that I am currently busy as of the moment, but he suddenly told me that he was at the area and brought some desserts. He told me that he knows my exact address and he will be at my home in a few minutes.

I got scared at what he said, so I then told my housemates that if ever someone comes and looks for me, tell him that I am out somewhere. After a few minutes lapsed, I noticed a green pickup parked in front of our house. My phone suddenly rang, I turned it to silent mode so he would not notice that I was still at home or I was hiding from him.

He went down from his car and asked about me, they told him I was out and I might not be home anytime soon. He stayed for 30 minutes or so, he even texted me that the ice cream he brought was already melting (saying!). I ignored his texts and calls and I just hoped that he leave already.

I was really shocked at the idea of the bank teller, fully aware of the privacy acts of the banks, gave my compete address and number to his son. Even though I felt such feeling of, I did not make any complaint, I just thought that she was just a concerned mother caring over her children.

The law made a proper mandate in requiring that the person giving the information gives it with his free will and with full understanding of where the said information will be use or its purpose.

There was a time when I was at a Cebuana Lhuiller branch to claim the remittance sent to me by Judith, I was told to fill out a form as a client’s record. I was hesitant and lazy at that time to fill out the form not knowing the relevance of such. I presented a valid identification card to ascertain that I am in fact the recipient of the said remittance so I no longer found a need to fill out such information card. I was then told that it is mandated by law that they acquire the personal information of senders and recipients. But I don’t believe what the teller told me so I just gave untrue information just to get done with the transaction.

The passing of the said law will no longer hinder individuals from disclosing vital information necessary for their trade and business knowing that they are being protected from those violators and abusers.

The law providing Personal information controller is also proper to scare away those who disrespect the use of technology for they are now aware that their acts will not be left unpunished.

Mid this year, I availed of the post paid plan of a network provider, and as a usual procedure, I filled out an application form and provided several credentials for them to determine whether to accept or decline my application. I was requested to provide my employment details and a copy of my pay slip. They also asked for a copy of my bank account or passbook and of course the proof of billing to ascertain my home address which I promptly complied with.

After I was approved, I suddenly noticed that there were several advertisers of real estate, diet programs, leisure activities and other products sent me text messages. I wondered how they were able to get my number. I assume that the network provider are selling their database to other companies but I am not sure until what extent did they give my personal information.

In the mandate of the law, it will then become mandatory for the personal information controller to be wary and cautious before giving away personal details of another. Moreover, since it is required in their function to protect the information given by individuals because it was provided for a specific purpose only. The law punishing them will prevent opportunist from giving away the information.

The implementation of this law will give the public more trust and confidence in the companies or institutions asking for the personal information of individuals. It will also give us peace of mind knowing that the controllers and possessors of the personal information will protect and give due importance to the information. It can also promote the trade and transactions of people.

Nowadays, it has become mandatory for all employees to acquire their SSS, Philhealth, NBI and Pag- ibig. There was a proposition that a centralized information system will be formed in order to facilitate the one identification card system. Moreover, it will also be more convenient for the employees for they only need to apply one to be able to get and ID card for all the services. It will also lessen the need for manual labor for all 5 government agencies will be reduced to only one processing agency.

In line with this, it is just proper to enact a law that will protect the system and to prevent
violators and abusers from acquiring or tampering the information system.

The law will be very useful for everyone, all it needs is a strong implementation of the law in
order to achieve the aim of the law.

It is proper that the law allowed the creation of a separate commission who will monitor and implement the law. If the commission will be able to implement a proper and effective regulations and policies, the protection of information will be well preserved.


Cyber Crime Law vs Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom

I was once victimized by a libelous article online. It was a post on my Facebook account. I was not familiar during that time with the security settings provided by the social network, thus I was not able to restrict the posting in my wall without my prior approval.

Fortunately, only one was able to read it. When I learned bout it, I immediately deleted the said post. Even though no one knew about it, I thought I should give the author a lesson. I filed a libel case in the prosecutor’s office at Quezon City; however to my dismay the case was dismissed.

The prosecutor in his resolution decided that there was no probable cause, and since there was no crime punishing it, therefore, there is no crime. The post was really libelous, it falls exactly under the said provision of libel since there was intent to damage the reputation of another, with malice and it was published.

If my friends and relatives connected in my network were able to read the said article, it would definitely destroy my reputation, and yet I did not get justice for the said offense. I was delighted when I learned about the passing of the cyber crime law, because finally, wrongful acts such as what happened to me will already be penalized.

Recently, there was a report on the television wherein an internet website posted the kissing of people as well as the host in clubs. A lot of people got concerned due to such scandalous behavior. The film maker and website owner said that there was nothing wrong with what they posted and there is no law prohibiting them from posting such act. They also alleged that it is in the exercise of their freedom of expression and the people on the show expressed their consent to the said airing of the said film. Again, if there is no crime punishing it, then there is no crime.

MTRCB reacted on this issue; they said that they should have control on Internet postings like what they are doing in television shows. The Board should be able to ban or restrict the airing of shows that are malicious and scandalous which are against public morals and interests.

However, since they were not delegated with the authority to do so, they cannot do anything; otherwise it would constitute ultra vires acts on their part. The concerned citizens were only able to air their sentiments about the film, but no action can bee taken against it.

I was watching the evening news one Saturday night when suddenly a report on an ongoing rally was aired. The rallyists were questioning the recently passed Cyber Crime Law or RA 10175. They were alleging that the said law was prejudicial to their constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. They were calling it the e-martial law for they were unjustly oppressed and deprived of their right to express their opinions and views on-line. Most of the rallyists were Internet bloggers, programmers and website designers.

The cyber crime law was penned more or less a decade ago. It was passed into a law just recently. Despite this fact, the bill was still questioned due to certain provisions claimed to be violative of rights of individuals. The said bill became as controversial as the RH bill which raised several opinions from the public who were called the “Netizens” or the net citizens.

Incidental to this, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed Senate Bill 3327 also known as the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, Cybercrime Prevention and Law Enforcement, Cyber defense and National Cyber security. It is a bill that seeks the passage into law and aims to replace Republic Act No. 10175 or the Philippine Cybercrime Law.

I went through both bills and it showed several disparities. One of which is that the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom does not allow illegal searches and seizures by authorities as alleged to be allowed by the Cyber Crime Law.

Senator Santiago was invoking that the Anti-Cybercrime Law violates the right to privacy and the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure in allowing the warrant less real-time collection of traffic data.

Traffic data as provided in RA 10175 refer only to the communication’s origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying service, but not content, nor identities.

I cannot see any violation of the said provision from the constitutional rights of individuals to privacy, as it is defined in the act, only the technical information of the data shall be collected, not the content of the material nor it identifies the identity of the subscriber.

Moreover, this does not violate the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure because what is being collected is only the technical information of the data and not the material itself.

The law also specifically provided that all other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a court warrant. This provision enforces the protection of the right of the individuals.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom only provides a more elaborate and specific guideline in ensuring due process by providing strict guidelines for any collection of any data, including the securing of warrants, obligating notification, and limiting seizure to data and excluding physical property.

The bill also provides that the government will no longer be allowed to block website on its own. The bill shall require a court order before authorities can take down or censor.

Another noticeable disparity is that the Cyber Crime Law also provides the issuance of the DOJ of an order to restrict or block access to such computer data when the computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this act where in the government may have a website or network blocked or restricted without due process of law.

While, Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom finds the provisions of the Cyber Crime Law as an illegal take down of website or networks.

Looking closely, both laws are the same, the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom again was o only providing a more specific procedure as compared to that of the Cyber Crime Law.

The “prima facie” proof needed to show that the computer data is in violation of the law is not questionable. The said computer website will only be blocked or restricted in order to provide immediate aide to the alleged victim and for the law to be able to prevent further damage to the individual to whom it pertains to. In my appreciation, if the computer data be found to be not libelous or scandalous, such blocking or restriction shall be lifted.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom also supports the creation of a new executive department for Information and Communication Technology. It is due to the broad range of responsibilities and obligations which will be related to the enforcement and implementation of laws governing Information and Communication Technology. They said that a department-level office should be established and its functions and jurisdiction should be clearly defined.

The provisions of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom is aimed to better equip our law enforcement officers and military personnel to help them fight cyber terrorism and cyber attacks from any hostile entity.

On the other hand, the Cyber Crime Law also provides for the organization of a cyber crime unit or center which shall be manned by special investigators to exclusively handle cases involving violations of the act. It will be a joint project of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Cyber Crime unit shall also be responsible for the efficient and effective law enforcement of the provisions of the act. They shall also be required to submit timely and regular reports including pre-operation, post-operation and investigation results and such other documents as may be required to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for review and monitoring.

Both bills provide for the creation of a special unit to handle the cybercrime provisions of the respective laws. However, the Cyber Crime law shall be much better in providing for the said services since they are the one incharge in the peace and order of the nation as well as in the prosecution and apprehension of offenders. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are more equipped and has the expertise in handling such cases.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom and the Cyber Crime Law both provides for the penalties and punishment of offenses such as child pornography, child abuse and human trafficking since it can be committed through the Internet.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom mandates government agencies to provide security for the data they collect from citizens to ensure their right to privacy which the Cyber Crime Law also provides once the said data are within their custody.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom prohibits double jeopardy as compared to the Cyber Crime Law which allows double jeopardy through prosecution of offenses committed against its provisions and prosecution of offenses committed against the Revised Penal Code and special laws, even though the offenses may have arose from a single act.

Further perusal of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, the law provides for an all encompassing provisions that do not only penalize cyber crime but all provides for the advantages of the use of cyber technology.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom provides for a provision that promotes the information and technology communication as a means to empower the government and shall be a medium for a more effective and efficient distribution of resources.

A lot of people now are employed in call centers where in their clientele are located abroad. Several products and services are being offered online. I was once a call center agent for Citibank Australia. I was in charge of verifying the credit and personal background of the applicants. I require them to send proof of income and billing address. All they need to do is send the documents via email or fax to our corresponding office in Australia, then it will be automatically posted in our database for us to be able to fraud check it to be able to identify whether the documents were true or merely fabricated. In the other department they are in charge of offering credit facilities, while the other department is in charge of customer service.

Internet is a great medium for communication and business transactions. The use of such became widely and easily accepted because it saves us the energy, time and resources in transacting. People would also be able to deal with a lot of people disregarding geographical barriers.

The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom also provides for the harnessing of information and communication technology for the national development. This step shall aid in the promotion of the country’s economic growth and ensuring that the Filipinos remain competitive in this changing world.

As can be noticed nowadays, a lot of people are engaging in Internet selling, people who are working in their offices or even at home are able to market and sell their products on-line. There is already an adapted procedure of selling and buying where in the buyer can opt to pay for the products via Gcash or remittance, while the seller may deliver the products through personal delivery or via private courier.

The whole transaction was basically made on line. Sellers mainly post the picture of the products and put a brief description of it and the buyers can just browse through it until finally the sale shall be consummated.

Another feature of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom is that it prepares our law enforcement agencies and armed forces for the current and emerging security challenges. It equips our law enforcement with the capability to fight, and respond to cybercrime.

This is a very important provision of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom. The national security and interest of the people are of great concerns that need to be protected. A lot of countries now are using electronic based weapons and detecting devices.

If the country will be guided by this law, we will be able to cope up with our defenses and be able to match the threats and attacks that being posed to us by terrorist and oppressors.

The two laws should be consolidated into one. Both laws have their own advantages and when consolidated together will make a great law that can be used in our country.

Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom provides for a more comprehensive and all encompassing scope. The legislators should merge the new bill with the recently passed bill for us to have our very own cyber crime law that we can put into use.

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