Symantec on Anti-Cybercrime Law & Network Security

In the wake of the recent hackings of government websites, Norton held a roadshow which was spearheaded by Symantec Senior Director of Government Relations for Asia Pacific and EMEA, Mr. Ilias Chantzos for a handful of select members of the press and bloggers to provide his insights about the recent incidents.

According to Mr.Chantzos, “Website defacement is not the end of the world”. He further discussed the topic by saying that, having a government webiste hacked is not a measure of a government’s network security. We have to bear in mind that there’s a constant threat of cyber-attacks and any system, especially the government’s, will be susceptible to these attacks. Having said that, it’s important to bear in mind that the ability to recover from the attack and zero in on the wrong doers is as equally crucial as preparing for future attacks.


He also emphasized the importance of reassessing the National Information Security strategies by saying that “What had worked in the past may not applicable in the future”. In addition, since the threats are constant so should be the effort to defend the system from it and make precautionary measures to recover from it in case it got attacked.

Of course, when discussing the recent hacking of multiple government it’s inevitable not to discuss about the controversial anti-cybercrime prevention act of 2012 in the country. When asked about his opinion about the law he said that it isn’t that far off from the cybercrime convention and added that he favors some of the provisions in the law that were not on the convention like identity theft and cybersquatting.


Some of the more controversial provisions of the law like the Misuse of device and Online Libel were also discussed in passing. He mentioned that the misuse of device provision has been a topic of debate in almost all countries that had the same law in place, so it’s no surprise to him if our fellow countrymen are also opposing this section of the law as well. He thinks that this is a legitimate concern, however he believes that it would be straightened by having a set of guidelines to identify if a device is indeed fashioned to be used for cybercrime acts.

As for the Online Libel, he chose not to discuss matter extensively as he regards that part of the law as a very sensitive topic and something that needs to be discussed with those people who has a better understanding of how libel law works in the country.

In our opinion, all provisions of the law can be abused, but it doesn’t mean that the law should not exist. However it would’ve been better if they had reviewed it extensively and consulted people who had better grasp of how the internet ecosystem works before passing the law. That’s why we have people like Mr. Chantzos who have more than enough knowledge and expertise in dealing with these kinds of situation.

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