AS Filipinos shift to online transactions on a massive scale due to the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. has sought a bigger war chest to build up the government’s defenses against what he called “a looming tsunami of heightened cybercriminal activity.”
Campos is seeking up to P3.2 billion in new appropriations to reinforce the government’s Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) with powerful new capabilities, including:
· P1.4 billion for an Intelligence and Investigation Data Fusion Center;
· P500 million for a Digital Forensics and Evidence Management System;
· P204 million for a Cybercrime Threat Operations Center; and
· P302 million for a Cyber Special Investigation and Response Unit.
“We need a large data fusion center where front-line law enforcement can quickly gather, share and analyze information from vast computer networks and communications systems, and then produce actionable intelligence against cybercriminals,” Campos said.
“The fusion center will enable the CICC to swiftly detect cyberattacks and identify threat actors,” Campos said.
“The P3.2 billion is a practical investment meant to prevent the country from incurring far bigger economic losses due to cybersecurity threats,” Campos said.
The rising cases of daily cybercrime in the country include phishing, online scams, computer-related identity theft, illegal access, automated teller machine and credit card fraud, and system interference or hacking, according to the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group and the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division.
The CICC is an inter-agency body created by the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. It is mandated to safeguard the integrity of the country’s computer networks and communications systems and to suppress all forms of misuse, abuse and illegal access.
The center is now under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).