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(case no.

378)

DISINI v. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE


GR Number 203335
February 18, 2014
Art. III
FACTS:
Republic Act 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, aims to regulate
access to and use of the cyberspace. The petitioners challenge the constitutionality of the
provisions of the cybercrime law regarding certain acts as crimes and impose penalties for their
commission. These assailed provisions are:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.
j.
k.
l.
m.
n.
o.
p.
q.
r.
s.
t.
u.

Section 4a1 Illegal Access


Section 4a3 Data Interference
Section 4a6 Cyber-squatting
Section 4b3 Identity Theft
Section 4c1 Cybersex
Section 4c2 Child Pornography
Section 4c3 Unsolicited Commercial Communications
Section 4c4 Libel
Section 5 Aiding or abetting and attempt in the commission of cybercrime
Section 6 Penalty of one degree higher
Section 7 Prosecution under the RPC and RA 10175
Section 8 Penalties
Section 12 Real-time collection of traffic data
Section 13 Preservation of computer data
Section 14 Disclosure of computer data
Section 15 Search, seizure, and examination of computer data
Section 17 Destruction of computer data
Section 19 Restricting or blocking access to computer data
Section 20 Obstruction of justice
Section 24 Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC)
Section 26(a) CICCs powers and functions

ISSUE:
With regard to Section 3 of Article III of the Constitution, the issue is whether or not
Section 12 of the Cybercrime law on the real-time collection of traffic data infringes on the right
to privacy of a person.
HELD:
Yes. The right granted to law enforcement agencies of the power to collect or record
traffic data in real time would tend to curtail civil liberties and may provide opportunities for
official abuse. Section 12 requires disclosure of matters normally considered private. In
asserting regulations affecting privacy rights, the Courts should balance between legitimate
concerns of the State vis--vis the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens. In the case,
the Court held that while there is a compelling state interest in enacting the law, the evidence
of traffic data is not adequate to fight cybercrimes.

Prepared by: Cecille Diane DJ. Mangaser

(case no. 378)

The clause with due cause is not defined by the legislature and thus, the authority given
to law enforcement agencies is too sweeping and lacks restraint. The Court opined that while
it says that traffic data collection should not disclose certain content, there is nothing that can
prevent law enforcement agencies to look into the identities of the sender or receiver of the
data.
Furthermore, the Court said that it must ensure that laws seeking to take advantage of
technologies must be written with specificity and definiteness to ensure respect for the
constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people.

Prepared by: Cecille Diane DJ. Mangaser