Sun. Jul 25th, 2021

MANILA – Senator Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday filed a resolution asking the Senate to investigate the proliferation of fake Facebook accounts that use identities of students, government officials, journalists, and other users, stressing such online acts could imperil one’s security and privacy.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 444, the minority lawmaker urged the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an inquiry to find out if there is a need to amend Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and other pertinent laws to make them more responsive to the situation.

Pangilinan said the inquiry would also help determine “possible regulation of social media platforms, in accordance with the policy that respects the rights and freedoms of all Filipinos guaranteed by the Constitution.”

In the resolution, Pangilinan said it is the declared policy of the State to protect and safeguard the integrity of 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.

“There is a need to look into our existing laws to increase the extent of liability and possible regulation of service providers or content hosts such as Facebook and other social media platforms,” he said.

He added that legislation must be carefully crafted so as to balance the rights and freedoms accorded to every Filipino by the Constitution and the public interest to be protected from dangerous acts online.

“We should not be utterly defenseless against social media manipulation and threats. We must use our laws to fight the fakes online,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan filed SR 444 following the surge of fake accounts on Facebook last June 7.

The majority of the dummy accounts on the social media platform do not have a profile picture and friends, and their profile links have the same format: first name (dot) last name (dot) number.

The social media giant said it already investigating the “suspicious activity on its platform” and vowed to take action on any accounts that it finds to be in violation of its policies.

The Department of Justice has also announced that its Office of Cybercrime will look into the matter in coordination with the cybercrime units of the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police. (PNA)

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