Manila proposes strengthening anti-wiretapping law

  • Proposal strengthens consumer right to privacy
  • Customers’ phone records to be protected

Manila proposes strengthening anti-wiretapping lawA NEW Philippines legislative measure is proposing that the unauthorized access of network and phone records information of a subscriber be declared as a punishable criminal act.
The bill is co-authored by detained former President and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son Camarines Sur representative Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo.
The bill is seeking to amend Republic Act 4200, otherwise known as the Anti Wire-Tapping Law, which was passed in 1965 when the Internet was not yet in existence in its current form.
 “Due to innovations in information technology, this right to privacy has now been extended in scope to include even electronic ways of communicating,” the Bicol lawmaker said.
Under the measure to be known as the “Protecting Consumers’ Phone Records Act,” it is prohibited for any person to acquire or use the customer proprietary network information and phone records information of a subscriber without his or her written consent.
Likewise, obtaining unauthorized access to the data processing system or records of a telecommunications carrier or an IP-enabled voice service provider in order to acquire the customer proprietary network information and phone records information of one or more other persons is prohibited.
Furthermore, selling or offering the information or requesting that another person obtain it from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled voice service provider in any manner that is unlawful is proscribed.
Under the bill, a provider of commercial mobile services may not share an individual’s wireless telephone information unless it has notified the customer informing him or her of the right not to be listed.
Violators will be penalized with a P20,000 (US$473) fine for each violation or each day of continuing violation except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed P20,000,000.
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