Republic Act No. 8792 (a.k.a. the Electronic Commerce Act), June 14, 2000

Document type
(1) On Intermediaries
The law defines an intermediary as “a person who in behalf of another person and with respect to a particular electronic document sends, receives, and/or stores, provides other services in respect of that electronic data message or electronic document”. Sec. 5(h) However, except where it excludes this person from the concepts of “addressee” see: Section 5(a) and “originator” see: Section 5(i), the law makes no mention the term anywhere else in its text.
(2) On Service Providers
(ii) A service provider, on the other hand, is defined by the law in the following manner:

“’Service Provider’ refers to a provider of:

i. online services or network access or the operator of facilities therefor including entities offering the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for online communications, digital or otherwise, between or among points specified by a user of electronic documents of the user’s choosing; or

ii. the necessary technical means by which electronic documents of an originator may be stored and made accessible to designated or undesignated third party.

Such service providers shall have no authority to modify or alter the content of the electronic document received or to make any entry therein on behalf of the originator, addressee or any third party unless specifically authorized to do so, and who shall retain the electronic document in accordance with the specific request or as necessary for the purpose of performing the services it was engaged to perform.” Section 5(i)

(ii) Unlike in the case of an intermediary, an entire section is devoted to delineating the extent of liability of a service provider as regards a particular electronic data message or electronic document. Thus, Section 30 reads:

“Extent of Liability of a Service Provider. – Except as otherwise provided in this Section, no person or party shall be subject to any civil or criminal liability in respect of the electronic data message or electronic document for which the person or party acting as a service provider as defined in Section 5, merely provides access if such liability is founded on –

(a) The obligations and liabilities of the parties under the electronic data message or electronic document;

(b) The making, publication, dissemination or distribution of such material or any statement made in such material, including possible infringement of any right subsisting in or in relation to such material. Provided, That

i. The service provider does not have actual knowledge, or is not aware of the facts or circumstances from which it is apparent, that the making, publication, dissemination or distribution of each material is unlawful or infringes any rights subsisting in or in relation to such material;

ii. The service provider does not knowingly receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the unlawful or infringing activity; and

iii. The service provider does not directly commit any infringement or other unlawful act and does not induce or cause another person or party to commit any infringement or other unlawful act and/or does not benefit financially from the infringing activity or unlawful act or another person or party; Provider, further, That nothing in this Section shall affect –

a. Any obligation founded on contract;

b. The obligation of a service provider as such under a licensing or other regulatory regime established under written law;

c. Any obligation imposed under any written law;

d. The civil liability of any party to the extent that such liability forms the basis for injunctive relief issued by a court under any law requiring that the service provider take or refrain from action necessary to remove, block or deny access to any material, or to preserve evidence of a violation of law.”
Topic, claim, or defense
Document type
Issuing entity
Legislative Branch
Type of service provider
General or Non-Specified
Issues addressed
Trigger for OSP obligations
OSP obligation considered
Data Retention or Disclosure
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Strengthens Immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Court Order
Takedown/Act Upon Knowledge (Includes Notice and Takedown)