The Amendment to the Computer Crime Act has now come into effect as the 120-day publication period had passed. Further to that, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (the MDES) held a public hearing on 23 May 2017 to reveal five draft Ministerial Notifications, prescribing regulations and certain important procedures in connection with corresponding provisions under the Computer Crime Act. Below are some of the key points of each draft Ministerial Notification:
1. The Draft Ministerial Notification re: the Characteristics and the Method of Sending Data Deemed Not Causing a Disturbance To The Recipient.
- As the new law criminalizes the sending of computer data which causes a disturbance to the recipient without allowing the recipient to opt out from receiving such data easily, this draft Notification prescribes the nature of computer data and/or emails which would not be deemed as causing a disturbance to the recipients. e.g. computer data and/or emails with no commercial objective and computer data and/or emails for which consent has been obtained from the recipients.
2. The Draft Ministerial Notification re: Procedures for the Notification, Suppression of Dissemination and Removal of Computer Data from the Computer System.
- Under the new law, service providers who take down illegal content from their computer system would be shielded from being deemed criminally liable for crimes committed by users of their service. Service providers who are able to prove that they followed the procedures in accordance with this draft Notification would be exempted from penalties. This draft Notification prescribes procedures such as the take down notice procedures, and procedures for refraining from dissemination, and removal of illegal data. However, the procedures to follow vary for each service provider depending on the types of service they provide, as categorized in the draft Notification e.g. Internet service providers, online service providers, cloud computing, data centers, portal websites, and social media.
3. The Draft Ministerial Notification re: the Appointment of the Settlement Committee under the Computer Crime Act.
- This draft Notification prescribes the authority and duty of the Settlement Committee, to handle the settlement of certain violations under the Computer Crime Act by payment of a fine. If any case is settled pursuant to the procedures in this draft Notification, the right to criminal prosecution under the criminal procedural law for such offence ceases.
4. The Draft Ministerial Notification re: the Criteria, Duration, and Procedure to Stop the Dissemination or the Removal of Computer Data for the Competent Official or the Service Provider.
- The Draft Ministerial Notification prescribes the criteria, duration, and procedures which the competent officials and service providers must follow e.g. the service provider must initiate the process of removing such illegal content immediately once it has received an order from the competent official (with a court order).
5. The Draft Ministerial Notification re: the Appointment of the Computer Data Filtering Committee under the Computer Crime Act.
- Under the new law, the Computer Data Filtering Committee (the “Filtering Committee”) has the duty and authority to stop the dissemination of computer data which violates public order or good morals of the public. This draft Notification laid out duties and authorities of the Filtering Committee in the data filtering process, and also establishes the Minister of the MDES as the president of the committee. A “Specialized Computer Data Filtering Committee”, a committee comprised of experts or specialists in certain specific fields of knowledge, may also be appointed by the Filtering Committee for the purpose of performing certain duties on behalf of the Filtering Committee.
The MDES is still open to receive further recommendations from relevant stakeholders who would be affected by these five draft Ministerial Notifications. Consequently, these draft Notifications are still subject to change. We will provide further updates as developments occur.