Arroyos want economic spying criminalized

Posted at 07/17/12 9:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President and current Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her son, Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo, are pushing for a bill that will declare economic espionage as a criminal act.

The Arroyos filed House Bill 1471, or the proposed Economic Espionage and Protection of Proprietary Information Act, to give adequate protection to proprietary economic information.

The younger Arroyo said economic espionage is committed by anyone who steals, wrongfully appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains proprietary economic information.

Proprietary economic information means all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic or engineering information.

"It is also committed by anyone who wrongfully copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys proprietary economic information," Arroyo said.

Propietary economic information also includes data, plans, tools, mechanisms, compounds, formulas, designs, prototype, processes, procedures, programs, codes or commercial strategies, whether tangible or intangible and whether stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing.

"At present, our laws do not give adequate protection to proprietary economic information," Arroyo said.

The bill provides that any natural or juridical person who commits economic espionage, whether or not in the aid of foreign nations, governments, corporations, institutions, or instrumentalities, shall be fined an amount equivalent to the economic value of such proprietary information.

Under the bill, anyone who receives, buys, or possesses such information knowing the same to have been stolen or wrongfully appropriated, obtained or converted, and wrongfully solicits another to commit offenses under the proposed law.

Any person convicted under the proposed act shall forfeit in favor of the Philippine government any property constituting, or derived from any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from the commission of such violations.