Binay: Philippines must shape up to fight cyber threatsBy Fatima Reyes
Vice President Jejomar Binay during the closing ceremonies of the National Defense College of the Philippines's seminar on Information and Communications Technology and Development focusing on the country's readiness in facing cyberthreats. Video by INQUIRER.net's Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Saying Internet security is vital to a nation’s economic and political policies, Vice President Jejomar Binay called for a strong Philippine response to cyber threats.
“Cyber attacks on a national scale can make or break a nation’s political and economic position,” Binay said during the closing ceremonies of the Seminar Towards ICTD and Cybersecurity Enhancement at the National Defense College of the Philippines in Quezon City Monday.
Binay said recent world events involving the intermittent hacking of government sites that were linked to the Scarborough Shoal dispute with China have heightened the need to prioritize cybersecurity.
“Nations with differences in policy and particular matters of state interest will look beyond the traditional means of solving disputes and resort to these cyber attacks,” Binay said.
Binay cited the Scarborough Shoal incident, in which Chinese and Filipino “hactivists” engaged in a raging battle online, rendering Philippine government sites inaccessible for some time.
Binay also described the Russian hacking of a US live streaming site as one of the most complex cyber attacks in the US in recent months.
Binay said the Philippines recognizes the crucial truths of these events and stressed the need for a profound response to these attacks.
He said no less than fore-runners of the world have propounded the need for cybersecurity, saying US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have expressed the opinion that any country can be paralyzed without capabilities to counter cyber attacks.
“A country’s information system regulates tangible information important to sovereignty,” he added.
He called for a rational application of enhanced ICT systems without “sacrificing the integrity and confidentiality of computer systems.”
He said Thailand’s setting of a cyber-security and talks for hackers conferences in 2012 are good for the country to follow.
The three-day seminar was held from June 6 to June 8 and various stakeholders from government and corporations came up with workshop outputs detailing steps in the achievement of an enhanced ICT in the Philippines. The stakeholders stressed the need for implementing laws on cyber-security, heightened awareness on cyber threats, and the creation of a cyber czar, among others.
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