Computer Crime Research Center


CICT forms its own cybercrime unit

Date: July 01, 2009
By: Alexander Villafania

Filed Under: Laws, Hacking, Technology (general), Government

WITH the prospect of the cybercrime bill becoming a law, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) has been slowly putting up a cybersecurity coordination center in its main office in UP Diliman.

The CICT has been lobbying for the passage of the cybercrime bill, which has been sitting in Congress for at least five years.

The bill has already passed the first reading under the Lower House committee on appropriations and a Senate version is already in the works.

The office is headed by former Philippine National Police (PNP) general Virtus Gil, who also served as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s deputy national security adviser.

In an interview, CICT chairman Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua said the cybercrime division is not yet functional but its people would have the skills to conduct investigations on cybercrime.

Roxas-Chua stressed that the CICT should be leading in the creation of a cybercrime group due to its existing e-government modernization mandate.

He also expects the cybercrime division to help the private sector deal with security threats.

However, the existence of CICT’s cybercrime division is pegged on the passage of the cybercrime bill.

If a law is not passed, Roxas-Chua said they may look into other funding options to keep the cybercrime division, most likely from the e-government fund.

With less than a year to go before the next elections, Roxas-Chua said they are pushing further to have the law passed soon.

“That’s why we’re emphasizing a lot on the need for a cybercrime law. It will protect government IT projects and the country’s growing IT industries,” Roxas-Chua said.

There had been previous attempts at creating an anti-cybercrime group by the government.

The first was in 2004 with the creation of the Task Force for the Security of Critical Infrastructure headed by Abraham Purruganan. It laid out a long-term National Cybersecurity Plan that was not implemented.

Another was the Government Computer Security and Incident Response Team led by the PNP. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also has its Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division.

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