Know your law! The Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10175 defines cybercrime under Philippine jurisdiction and provides for the prevention, investigation, suppression and imposition of penalties

Here’s an introduction by Alberto Salvador Jr. of the DOST

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Download PDF of RA 10175 from the DOJ


Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-fifth
day of July, two thousand eleven .
Republic Act No. 10175
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the
“Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012”.
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – The State recognizes
the vital role of information and communications industries
such as content production, telecommunications, broadcasting,
electronic commerce, and data processing, in the nation’s
overall social and economic development. The State also
recognizes the importance of providing an environment
conducive to the development, acceleration, and rational
application and exploitation of information and commumcations
technology (ICT) to attain free, easy, and intelligible ‘)ccess to
exchange andlor delivery of information; and the need to protect
and safeguard the integrity of computer, computer and
communications systems, networks, and databases, and the
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and
data stored therein, from all forms of misuse, abuse, and illegal
access by making punishable under the law such conduct or
conducts. In this light, the State shall adopt sufficient powers
to effectively prevent and combat such offenses by facilitating
their detection, investigation, and prosecution at !loth the
domestic and international levels, and by p~oviding
arrangements for fast and reliable international cooperation.
SEC. 3. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act,
the following terms are hereby defmed as follows:
(a) Access refers to the instruction, communication
with, storing data in, retrieving data from, or otherwise
making use of any resources of a computer sy/stem or
commurucation network. ‘
(b) Alteration refers to~ the modifICation or cl;\ange, in
form or substance, of an existing computer data or program.
(c) Communication refers to the transmission of
information through rCT media, including voice, video and
other forms of data.
(d) Computer refers to an electronic, magnetic, optical,
electrochemical, or other data processing or communications
device, or grouping of such devices, capable of performing
logical, arithmetic, routing, or storage functions and which
includes any storage facility or equipment or communications
facility or equipment directly related to or operating in
conjunction with such device. It covers any type of computer
device including devices with data processing capabilities like
mOllile phones, smart phones, computer networks and other
devices connected to the internet.
(e) Computer data refers to any representation of facts,
information, or concepts in a form suitable for processing in
a computer system including a program suitable to cause a
computer system to perform a function and includes electronic
documents and/or electronic data messages whether stored in
local computer systems or online.
(f) Computer program refers to a set of instructions
executed by the computer to achieve intended results.
(g) Computer system refers to any device or group of
interconnected or related devices, One or more of which,
pursuant to a program, performs automated processing of data.
It covers any type of device with data processing capabilities
including, but not limited to, computers and mobile phones.
The device consisting of hardware and software may include
input, output and storage components which may stand alone
or be connected in a network or other similar devices. It also
includes computer data storage devices or media.
(b) Without right refers to either: (i) conduct undertaken
without or in excess of authority; or (ii) conduct not covered
by established legal defenses, excuses, court orders,
justifications, or relevant principles under the law.
(i) Cyber refers to a computer Or a computer network,
the electronic medium in which online communication takes
0) Critical infrastructure refers to the computer
systems, and/or networks, whether physical or virtual,
and/or the computer programs, computer data and/or traffic
data so vital to this country that the incapacIty or destruction
of or interference with such system and assets would have a
debilitating impact on securi~, national or economic securi~,
national public health and safety, or any combination of those
(k) Cybersecurity refers to the collection of tools, policies,
risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices,
assurance and technologies that can be used to protect the
cyber environment and organization and user’s assets.
0) Database refers to a representation of information,
knowledge, facts, concepts, or instructions which aJ,’e being
prepared, processed or stored or have been prepared, processed
or stored in a formalized manner and which are intended for
use in a computer system.
(m) Interception refers to listening to, recording,
monitoring or surveillance of the content of communications,
including procuring of the content of data, either directly,
through access and use of a computer system or i~directly,
through the use of electronic eavesdropping or tapping devices,
at the same time that the communication is occurring.
(n) Service provider refers to:
(1) Any public or private entity that provides to users
of its service the ability to communicate by means of a
computer system; and
(2) Any other entity that processes or stores computer
data on behalf of such communication service or users of such
(0) Subscriber’s information refers to any information
contained in the form of computer data or any other form that
is held by a service provider, relating to subscribers of its
services other than traffic or content data and by which
identity can be established:
(1) The type of communication service used, th~ technical
provisions taken thereto and the period of service;:
(2) The subscriber’s identity, postal or geographic address,
telephone and other access numbers, any assigned network
address, billing and payment information, available on the basis
of the service agreement or arrangement; and
(3) Any other available information on the site of the
installation of communication equipment, available on the basis
of the service agreement or arrangement. . r
(P) Traffic data or non-content data refers to any
computer data other than the content of the communication
including, but not limited to, the communication’s origin,
destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of
underlying service.
SEC. 4. Cybercrime Offenses. – The following acts
constitute the offense of cybercrime punishable under this Act:
(a) Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and
availability of computer data and systems:
(1) Illegal Access. – The access to the whole or any part
of a computer system without right.
(2) Illegal Interception. – The interception made by
technical means without right of any non-public txansmission
of computer data to, from, or within a computer system
including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system
carrying such computer data.
(3) Data Interference. – The intentional or reckless
alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of oomputer data,
electronic document, or electronic data message, without right,
including the introduction or transmission of viruses.
(4) System Interference. – The intentional alteration or
reckless hindering or interference with the functioning of a
computer or computer network by inputting, transmitting,
damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing
computer data or program, electronic document, or electronic
data message, without right or authority, including the
introduction or transmission of viruses.
(5) Misuse of Devices. –
(i) The use, production, sale, procurement, importation,
distribution, or otherwise making available, without right, of:
(aa) A device, including a computer program, designed
or adapted primarily for the purpose of committing any of the
offenses under this Act; or
(bb) A computer password, access code, or similar data
by which the whole or any part of a computer system is
capable of being accessed with intent that it be used for the
purpose of committing any of the offenses under this Act.
(ii) The possession of an item referred to in paragraphs
5(i)(aa) or (bb) above with intent to use said devices for the
purpose of committing any of the offenses under this ~ection.
(6) Cyber·squatting. – The acquisition of a domain
name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy
reputation, and deprive others from registering the same, if
such a domain name is:
(j.) Similar, identical, or confusingly similar to an
existing trademark registered with the appropriate government
agency at the time of the domain name registration;
(ii) Identical or in any way similar with the name of
a person other than the registrant. in case of a personal name;
(iii) Acquired without right or with intellectual property
interests in it.
(b) Computer.related Offenses:
(1) Computer.related Forgery. –
(i) The input, alteration, or deletion of any computer data
without right resulting in inauthentic data with the intent that
it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were
authentic. regardless whether or not the data is directly
readable and intelligible; or
(ti) The act of knowingly using computer data; which is
the product of computer·related forgery as defined herein. for
the purpose of perpetuating a fraudulent or dishonest design.
(2) Computer· related Fraud. – The unauthorized input,
alteration, or deletion of computer data or program or
interference in the functioning. of a computer system. causing
damage thereby with fraudulent intent: Provided, That if no
damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be
one (1) degree lower.
(3) Computer-related Identity Theft. – The intentional
acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession) alteration or
deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether
natural or juridical, without right: Provided, That if no
damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be
one (1) degree lower.
(c) Content-related Offenses:
(1) Cybersex. – The willful engagement, maintenance,
control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious
exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of
a computer system, for favor or consideration .
. (2) Child Pornography. – The unlawful or prohibited
acts defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775 or the
Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a
computer system: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed.
shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in
Republic Act No. 9775.
(3) Unsolicited Commercial Communications. – The
transmission of commercial electronic communication with
the use of computer system which seek to advertise, sell, or
offer for sale products and services are prohibited unless:
(i) There is prior affirmative consent from the recipient;
(ii) The primary intent of the communication is for
service andlor administrative announcements from the sender
to its existing users, subscribers or customers; or
(iii) The following conditions are present:
(aa) The commercial electronic communication contains
a simple, valid, and reliable way for the recipient to reject
receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from
the same source;
(bb) The commercial electronic communication does not
purposely disguise the source of the electronic message; and
(cc) The commercial electronic communication does not
purposely include misleading information in any part of the
message in order to induce the recipients to read the message.
(4) Libel. – The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel
as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, co=itted through a computer system or any other
similar means which may be devised in the future. ‘
SEC. 5. Other Offenses. – The following acts shall also
constitute an offense:
(a) Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime.
– Any person who willfully abets or aids in the commission
of any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held
(b) Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrime.; – Any
person who willfully attempts to commit any of the offenses
enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.
SEC. 6. All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised
Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by,
through and with the use of information and communications
technologies shall be covered by the relevant.provisioI\s of this
Act: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one
(1) degree higher than that proVided for by the Revis~d Penal
Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case ‘1lay be.
SEC. 7. Liability under Other Laws. – A prosecution
under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability for
violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code, as
amended, or special laws.
SEC. 8. Penalties. – Any person found guilty of any
of the punishable acts enumerated in SeCtions 4(a) and 4(b)
of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment of prision
mayor or a fine of at least Two hundred thousand pesos
(phP200,OOO.OO) up to a maximum amount commensurate· to
the damage incurred or both.
Any person found guilty of the punishable act under
Section 4(a)(5) shall be punished with imprisonment of prision
mayor or a ,fine ·of not more than Five hundred thousand
pesos (PhP500,OOO.OO) or both.
If punishable. acts in Section 4(a) are committed against
critical infrastructure, the penalty of reclusion temporal or a
fine of at least Five hundred thousand pesos (phP500,OOO.OO)
up to maximum amount commensurate to the damage
incurred or both, shall be imposed.
Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts
enumerated in Section 4(c)(1) of this Act shall be punished
with imprisonment of prisian mayor or a fine of at least Two
hundred thousand pesos (PhP200,OOO.OO) but not exceeding
One million pesos ·(PhPl,OOO,OOO.OO) or both.
Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts
enumerated in Section 4(c)(2) of this Act shall be punished
with the penalties as enumerated in RepUblic Act No. 9775
or the “Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009”: Provided, That
the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than
that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775, if committed
through a computer system.
Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts
enumerated in Section 4(c)(3) shall be punished with
imprisonment· of arresto mayor or a fine of at least Fifty
thousand pesos (phP50,OOO.OO) but not exceeding Two hundred
fifty thousand pesos (phP250,OOO.OO) or both.
Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts
enumerated in Section 5 shall be punished with imprisonment
one (1) degree lower than that of the prescribed penalty for
the offense or a fme of at least One hundred thousand pesos
(phP100,OOO.OO) but not exceeding Five hundred thousand pesos
(phP500,OOO.OO) or both.
SEC. 9. Corporate Liability. – When any of the
punishable acts herein defined are knowingly committed on
behalf of or for the benefit of a juridical person, by a natural
person acting either individually or as part of an organ of the
juridical person, who has a leading position within, based on:
(a) a power of representation of the juridical person provided
the act committed falls within the scope of such authority;
(b) an authority to take decisions on behalf of the juridical
person: Provided, That the act committed falls within the
scope of such authority; or (c) an authority to exercise control
within the juridical person, the juridical person shall be held
liable for a fine equivalent to at least double the: fines
imposable in Section 7 up to a maximum of·Ten million! pesos
(phPIO,OOO,OOO.OO). – .. !
If the commission of any of the punishable acts herein
defined was made possible due to the lack of supervision or
control by a natural person referred to and described in the
preceding paragraph, for the benefit of that juridical person
by a natural person acting under its authority, the juridical
person shall be held liable for a fme equivalent to at least
double the fines ·imposable in Section 7 up to a maximum of
Five million pesos (phP5,OOO,OOO.OO).· I
The liability imposed on the juridical person shall be
without prejudice to the criminal liability of the natural person
who has committed the offense.
SEC. 10. Law Enforcement Authorities.· – The National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National
Police (PNP) shall be responsible for the efficient and ~ffective
law enforcement-·of the provisions of this Act. The NBI and
the PNP shall organize a cybercrime unit or center manned
by special inVestigators to exclusively handle cases involving
violations of this Act. ..
SEC. 11. Duties of Law Enforcement Authorities. – To
ensure that the technical nature of cybercrime and its
prevention is given focus and considering the prdcedures
involved for international cooperation, law enforcement
authorities specifically the computer or technology crime
divisions or units responsible for the investigation of
cybercrimes are 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.
SEC. 12. Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data. – Law
enforcement authorities, with due cause, shall be authorized
to collect or record by technical or electronic means traffic data
in real-time associated with specified communications
transmitted by means of a computer system.
Traffic data refer only to the communication’s origin,
destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of
underlYing service, but not content, nor identities.
All other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will
require a court warrant.
Service providers are required to cooperate and assist Jaw
enforcement authorities in the collection or recording of the
above-stated information.
The court warrant required under this section shall only
be issued or granted upon written application and the
examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and
the witnesses he may produce and the showing: (1) that there
are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the crimes
enumerated hereinabove has been committed, or is being
committed, or is about to be committed: (2) that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that evidence that will be obtained
is essential to the conviction of any person for, or to the
solution of, or to the prevention of, any such crimes; and (3)
that there are no other means readily available for obtaining
such evidence.
SEC. 13. Preservation of Computer Data. – The
integrity of traffic data and subscriber information relating to
communication services provided by a service provider shall
he preserved for a minimum period of six (6) months from
the date of the transaction. Content data shall be similarly
preserved for six (6) months from the date of receipt of the
order from law enforcement authorities requiring its
Law enforcement authorities may order a one-time
extension for another six (6) months: Provided, That once
computer data preserved, transmitted or stored by a service
provider is used as evidence in a case, the mere. furnishing
to such service provider of the transmittal document to the
Office of the Prosecutor shall be deemed a notification to
preserve the computer data until the termination of the case.
The service provider ordered to preserve computer data
shall keep confidential the order and its compliance:
SEC. 14. Disclosure of Computer-, Data; -‘; Law
enforcement authorities, upon securing a court warrant, shall
issue an order requiring any person or service provider to
disclose or submit subscriber’s information, traffic data or
relevant data in hishts possession or control within . seventy.two (72) hours from receipt of the order in relation to
a valid- complaint officially docketed and assigned for
investigation and the disclosure is necessary and relevant for
the purpose of investigation.
SEC. 15. Search, Seizure and Examination of Cqmputer
Data. – Where a search and seizure warrant is properly
issued, the law enforcement authorities shall likewise have the
following powers and duties.
Within the time period specified in the warrant,. to
conduct interception, as defined in this Act, and:
(a) To secure a computer system or a: compu,ter data
storage medium;
(b) To make and retain a copy of those compJter data
(c) To maintain the integrity of the relevant stored
computer data;
(d) To conduct forensic analysis or’ examination of the
computer data storage medium; and
(e) To render inaccessible or remove those ‘computer
data in the accessed computer or compu,ter and
communications network.
Pursuant thereof, the law enforcement authorities may
order any person who has knowledge about the functioning of
the computer system and the measures to protect and preserve
the computer data therein to provide, as is reasonable, the
necessary information, to enable the undertaking of the search,
seizure and examination. .
Law enforcement authorities may request for an extension
of time to complete the examination of the computer data
storage medium and to make a return thereon but in no case
for a period longer than thirty (30) days from date of approval
by the court.
SEC. 16. Custody of Computer Data. – All computer
data, including content and traffic data, examined under a
proper warrant shall, within forty-eight (48) hours after the
expiration of the period fixed therein, be deposited with the
court in a sealed package, and shall be accompanied by an
affidavit of the law enforcement authority executing it stating
the dates and times covered by the examination, and the law
enforcement authority who may access the deposit, among
other relevant data. The law enforcement authority shall also
certify that no duplicates or copies of the whole or any part
thereof have been made, or if made, that all such duplicates
or copies are included in the package deposited with the court.
The package so deposited shall not be opened, or the recordings
replayed, or used. in evidence, or their contents revealed, except
upon order of the court, which shall not be granted except
upon motion, with due notice and opportunity to be heard to
the person or persons whose conversation or communications
have been recorded.
SEC. 17. Destruction of Computer Data. Upon
expiration of the periods as provided in Sections 13 and 15,
service providers and law enforcement authorities, as the case
may be, shall immediately and completely destroy the computer
data subject of a preservation and examination.
SEC. 18. Exclusionary Rule. – Any evidence procured
without a valid warrant or beyond the authority of the same
shall be inadmissible for any proceeding before any court or
SEC. 19. Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer
Data. – When a computer data is prima facie found to be
in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue
an order to restrict or block access to such computer data:-
SEC. 20. Noncompliance. – Failure to comply with the
provisions of Chapter IV hereof specifically the orders from law
enforcement authorities shall be punished as a violation of
Presidential Decree No. 1829 with imprisonment of prision
correccional in its maximum period or a fine of One hundred
thousand pesos (php100,OOO.OO) or both, for each an4 every
noncompliance with an order issued by law’ enforcement
SEC. 21. Jurisdiction. – The Regional Trial CoJrt shall
have jurisdiction over any violation of the provision$ of this
Act including any violation committed by a Filipino national
regardless of the place of commission. Jurisdiction shall lie
if any of the elements was committed within the Philippines
or committed with the use of any computer system wholly or
partly situated in the country, or when by such commission
any damage is caused to a natural or juridical person who,
at the time the offense was committed, was in the Philippines.
There shall be designated special cybercrime courts
manned by specially trained judges to handle cybercri)ne cases.
SEC. 22. General Principles Relating. to International
Cooperation. – All relevant international instruPlents on
international cooperation in criminal matters, arr~ngements
agreed on the basis of uniform or reciprocal legislation, and
domestic laws, to the widest extent possible for th~ purposes
of irivestigations or proceedings concerning criminal offenses
related to computer systems and data, or for the collection of
evidence in electronic form of a criminal offense shall be given
full force and effect.
SEC. 23. Department of Justice (DOJ). – There is hereby
created an Office of Cybercrime within the DOJ designated as
the central authority in all matters related to international
mutual assistance and extradition.
SEC. 24. Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating
Center. – There is hereby created, within thirty (30) days
from the effectivity of this Act, an inter-agency body to be
known as the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating
Center (CICC), under the administrative supervision of the
Office of the President, for policy coordination among concerned
agencies and for the formulation and enforcement of the
national cybersecurity plan.
SEC. 25. Composition. – The crec shall be headed by
the Executive Director of the Information and Commuoications
Technology Office under the Department of Science and
Technology (ICTO-DOST) as Chairperson with the Director of
the NEI as Vice Chairperson; the Chief of the PNP; Head of
the DOJ Office, of Cybercrime; and one (1) representative from
the private sector and academe, as members. The CICC shall
be manned by a secretariat of selected existing personnel and
representatives from the different participating agencies.
SEC. 26. Powers and Functions. The CICC shall
have the following powers and functions:
(a) To formulate a national cybersecurity plan and
extend immediate assistance for the suppression of real-time
commission of cybercrime offenses through a computer
emergency response team (CERT);
(b) To coordinate the preparation of appropriatte and
effective measures to prevent and suppress cybercrime activities
as provided for in this Act;
(c) To monitor cybercrime cases being handled by
participating .law enforcement and prosecution agencies;
(d) To facilitate international cooperation on intelligence,
investigations, training and capacity building related to
cybercrime prevention, suppression and prosecution;
(e)’ To coordinate the support and participatiori of the
business sector, local government units and nongovernment
organizations in cybercrime prevention programs and other
related projects;
(f) To recommend the enactment of appropriate laws,
issuances, measures and policies; .
(g) To call upon any government agency to; render
assistance in the accomplishment of the CICC’s m:andated
tasks and functions; and ,:
(h) To perform all other matters related to cybercrime
prevention and suppression, including capacity building and
such other functions and duties as may be necessary for the
proper implementation of this Act,
SEC, 27. Appropriations. – The amount of Fifty million
pesos (PhP50,OOO,OOO.OO) shall be appropriated annually for the
implementation of this Act.
SEC. 28. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The
ICTO-DOST, the DOJ and the Department of the Interior and
Local Government (DILG) shall jointly formulate the necessary
rules and regulations within ninety (90) days from approval
of this Act, for its effective implementation. . . ~ ~ • l,
SEC. 29. Separability ·Clause . .:. If any provision of this
Act is held invalid, the other provisions not affected shall
remain in full force and effect ..
SEC. 30. Repealing Clause.- All laws, decrees or rules
inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly. Section 33(a) of Republic Act No. $792 or the
“Electronic Commerce Act” is hereby modified accordingly.
SEC, 31, Effectivity, – This Act shall take effect fifteen
(15) days after the completion of its publication in the Official
Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulatio
Approved, ,
~~~ .. ~~ FELICIANO BELMONTE 1t’-, Xf.l~ Speaker of the House
of Representatives
This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No, 2796 and
House Bill No, 5808 was finally passed by the Senate and the
House of Representatives on June 5, 2012 and June 4,2012,
~t~ Secretary General
House of Representatives
Secretary of the Senae