DOJ wants to ramp up cybercrime units to check surge in online crimes
MANILA, Philippines — Cybercrime units should upgrade their technology and improve probing abilities as there has been a surge of cases of online crime during the coronavirus disease pandemic, the Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Saturday.
“It is expected that during these pandemic times, where direct personal interactions are reduced, more crimes will be committed in cyberspace,” Guevarra told reporters after Office of Cybercrime of the Department of Justice launched its first webinar on cybercrime in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar, which tackled common crimes committed online, quoted data from law enforcement authorities from March to June 2020 which showed that the most prevalent crimes were phishing, online selling scams, and misinformation that causes panic among the public, DOJ spokesman Markk Perete said in a statement.
As Perete pointed out, phishing and online selling scams are punishable under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and misinformation is punishable under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Guevarra, meanwhile, dismissed the idea linking misinformation to the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, which has just been enacted into law.
“No particular reference to the anti-terrorism law — more on frauds, financial crimes, online exploitation of women and children, human trafficking, and the like,” Guevarra said.
The DOJ webinar also discussed tips on how to avoid cyber threats, Perete said.
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