Recent Posts

BSP Releases Guidelines Regulating Virtual Currencies Exchanges

BSP Releases Guidelines Regulating Virtual Currencies Exchanges

In its resolution dated 19 January 2017, the Monetary Board approved a new set of rules and regulations that would govern the operations of virtual currency exchanges in the country. The guidelines are to be incorporated in §4512N of the Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions. The guidelines were made in recognition of the potential of virtual currencies in revolutionising the delivery of financial services and the risks that accompany it including consumer protection and the susceptibility to be used in illegal activities. The guidelines define the term a virtual currency, such as BitCoin, as any type of digital […]

Supreme Court Designates Cybercrime Courts

Supreme Court Designates Cybercrime Courts

  In its resolution dated 15 November 2016 in A.M. No. 03-03-03-SC, the Supreme Court en banc designated Special Commercial Courts as ‘Cybercrime Courts’. These courts now have the power to try and decide cases covered by the Cybercrime Prevention Act within their respective territorial jurisdictions. Accordingly, Cybercrime cases shall now be filed with the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the proper cybercrime court. The resolution further gave Cybercrime Courts in Quezon City, Manila, Makati, and Pasig the authority to act on application for search warrants involving violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Such […]

Cybercrime search warrants and the role of ISPs

Cybercrime search warrants and the role of ISPs

Just like in any other crime, a search warrant is necessary to aid in the prosecution of cybercrime [i]. Aiming to protect the fundamental right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the policy of procuring search warrants for cybercrimes is definitely sensible on paper. However, the unique nature of data and computer systems makes it troublesome. Can service providers be the solution? The unique nature of search warrants in cyberspace The procurement of a search warrant is a crucial part of the criminal prosecution process. By means of the warrant, law enforcement officers can secure material pieces of evidence [ii]. Without such prior […]

Penalizing Cybersex

Penalizing Cybersex

  In the Philippines, the operation of cybersex dens is increasingly becoming a huge concern. From the early 2000s, various sex dens have been raided, resulting in the arrests of perpetrators and rescues of victims [1], some of them being minors as young as two years old [2]. Filling the gaps in previous laws, the Cybercrime Prevention Act can be provide authorities a powerful way address these offenses. Operation of cybersex dens in the Philippines In cybersex dens, clients pay to have cybersex workers perform sexually explicit acts over the internet. Operators usually maintain a website, where potential clients can […]

Privacy Rights of The Deceased

Privacy Rights of The Deceased

  Early last year, social media giant, Facebook, finally created a policy for its deceased users. A legacy contact, or a person designated by the user, can manage his account after his death. He can pin a post on the latter’s timeline, accept friend requests, update his profile picture, or download an archive of photos. What he couldn’t do however, is to read private messages. “We respect the privacy of those contacts. It didn’t make sense to include those messages,” Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch explained. In a way, Facebook is being instrumental in the move towards digital estate management, […]

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act at a Glance

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act at a Glance

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act or R.A. No. 10913, which aims to promote the responsible use of electronic devices on the road and protect citizens from vehicular accidents, has become law on July 21, 2016. Here are five things you should know about this Act: The Act covers all kinds of land transportation vehicles, whether public or private. All motorists using hand-held mobile phones, computers and any similar electronic devices while driving, even when temporarily stopped at a red light,  are liable under the Act. Hence, sending or reading messages on a mobile device, making or receiving calls, playing electronic games, […]

Personal Data NOT Protected by Law

Personal Data NOT Protected by Law

Protection of personal data has become an important issue lately as people have become more conscious of their privacy and more wary of personal information that may be made available online. The Data Privacy Act (DPA) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), though aspiring to protect these personal data do not totally suppress the free flow of information, because their provisions do not protect all personal information from disclosure. Below are some personal information that can be freely exchanged by third parties without the consent of the data subject: those that are strictly related to the functions or position […]

Internet Service Providers: Can they be held liable for cybercrimes?

Internet Service Providers: Can they be held liable for cybercrimes?

One of the current challenges in cybercrime prevention legislation includes the determination of liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in offenses including cyber trafficking, copyright infringement, and the like. Undeniably, ISPs play a significant role as intermediaries in providing means for relaying information to internet users through their systems. While the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 outlines the responsibilities of ISPs with respect to the conduct of cybercrimes, certain provisions of the Act also exempt them from liabilities. As ISPs are not mere passive actors in the industry, our government should be more progressive in rethinking these exemptions granted to […]

Partisan Political Activities in the Age of Social Media

Partisan Political Activities in the Age of Social Media

The past election season saw a social media revolution. More than ever, the Internet has become a vehicle for expressing a myriad of opinions that sought to campaign for and protect a particular candidate, or to blacken his image or express dissent. Increasingly becoming one of the main sources of information, social media has changed the playing field. There, candidates and their supporters were able to get advertisement and highlight platforms, at little to no cost. While the right to express opinions in social media is guaranteed by the freedom of speech enshrined in our Constitution, it is not absolute. […]

Gaming Online Polls: How Hard Could It Be?

Gaming Online Polls: How Hard Could It Be?

  It is election season once again, and with it comes a slew of opinion polls showing this politician or that politician-to-be, as the nation’s favorite candidate (for the time being). These polls are conducted regularly, over a relatively long period of time, in order to reflect the vicissitudes of electoral whims. Now, since more than half of Filipinos are online, a number of these polls have been conducted through websites. The move is understandable as the benefits are obvious: using the net to reach out to participants is far more convenient and time-efficient than going to them personally, or […]