Biazon seeks Congress probe into emergence of fake Facebook accounts

Published June 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Muntinlupa lone district Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon said on Sunday (June 14) that Congress needs to come up with a measure to address the security and privacy concerns that arose from the sudden emergence of fake accounts on social media platform Facebook.

Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon. (Photo from  Biazon’s Facebook account)/ MANILA BULLETIN
Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon. (Photo from Biazon’s Facebook account/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The senior vice chairperson of the House committee on national defense and security pointed to the urgency to look into the proliferation of bogus Facebook accounts, saying that it can be used to perpetuate crimes against individuals or groups.

“Kung may legal possibility na mai-require natin na mas reliable na identity na nag-create ng account, i-explore natin (If there is a legal possibility of requiring more reliable identity from those who created the account, we will explore it), ” he said in a radio interview.

He was concerned the mutiple bogus accounts can be used to spread false information as well as “propaganda with sinister purpose.”

“Sa paggawa ng fake accounts, ‘yun ang ginagamit sa paglalabas ng false information. Paano natin matutukoy yan? How do we filter out ‘yung mga tao na may multiple accounts? (The fake accounts are being used to spread false information. How can we identify that? How do we filter out those people with multiple accounts?) ” Biazon said.

Last June 9, Biazon filed House Resolution (HR) No. 968 seeking a congressional probe into the proliferation of bogus Facebook accounts.

The House leader said he wants to know from Facebook if it has put in place a system where its users will be protected from possible identity theft, online harassment, and other crimes in the wake of the sudden emergence of multiple fake accounts.

“Gusto nating makita kung meron bang mailalagay na sistema para maproteksyunan ang taong bayan dun sa mga posibleng gawin na maling bagay sa pamamagitan nung mga created accounts (We want to see if a system can be put in place to protect people from possible abuses through the created accounts),” Biazon said.

“Naisip natin na maghain ng resolution para magsagawa ng inquiry kasi ‘yung ganitong instances maaring magamit sa iba’t ibang klaseng krimen, ‘yung harassment, identity theft, spreading of false information, paninira sa ibang tao…Nais natin na magkaroon ng inquiry at ipaliwanag sa atin ng Facebook kung paano natin masusugpo ang ganitong klaseng pamamalakad (We thought of filing a resolution to seek the conduct of an inquiry because these instances can be used in different kinds of crimes — harassment, identity theft, spreading of false information, and defamation of other people. We want to have an inquiry and Facebook can explain to us how they can address this kind of scheme),” he said.

The House leader said he cannot say yet if Facebook has liability over the proliferation of bogus social media accounts.

He demanded Facebook to explain the “peculiar instance” where the accounts of those with unique names like him were cloned, as well as the sudden spike in fake accounts.

“Kailangan muna marinig ang paliwanag nila. Tapos kailangan nating malaman kung ano ang puwedeng gawin para mapigilan ang ganitong instance, lalo na ‘yung kapangalan ‘yung nag-assume ng identity mo (We need to first hear their explanation. Then we need to know what we can do to stop these instances, especially when someone who shares your name assumes your identity),” Biazon said.

“For example, in my case, ano bang pamamaraan na puwede kong ilapit sa Facebook (what relief can I seek from Facebook), unique ang pangalan ko (my name is unique), pero may nag-create ng account (but someone created another account), puwede nyo bang tingnan ang legitimacy niyan? (can you look at its legitimacy?),” he asked.

Under HR 968, Biazon sought the creation of a joint task force that will look into the matter, saying the “new normal will increase reliance on social media platforms.”

The task force members include the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) , the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group, the National Privacy Commission, and other related agencies.