Binay wants stronger laws vs cybersex offenders

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Monday, February 3, 2014


SENATOR Nancy Binay is set to file a resolution that would look into the integrity of the country's information security infrastructure amid reports of unhampered proliferation of child cybersex operations in the country.

Binay said that the war against crimes using new technology has been left unchecked by government regulators making it more difficult for authorities to monitor large-scale producers and distributors of child pornography as well as individuals who engage in cybersex using minors.

"In my opinion, our country's information security system is not that encompassing, everyone has their own security set-up. Because of this, our law enforcement capability has become weak -- even our government websites are vulnerable and easily compromised," she said.

Based on reports, the Philippines is among the top 10 countries where cyber pornography is rampant.

The Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) an international anti child pornography operation had cracked a pedophile ring the Philippines running a cyber pornography business.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier said that all parts of the country, particularly in Luzon and the Visayas, had online transmittal of pornographic materials featuring children have taken place.

Based on PNP records, Angeles City in Pampanga province, Cebu province, Cagayan de Oro City and Metro Manila are the top four transmittal sites for online pornography.

Currently, the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) Cybercrime Division is at the forefront against the cybercrime. However, their capacity to police national cyberspace may not be enough even to oversee the critical security portals of our banking and finance sector, transportation, telecommunications, water and electricity systems.

"If we set a devoted government office that checks our infosec, we might have a fighting chance to stop the broadcast of child cybersex," Binay said.

Based on data, cyber pornography has become a lucrative business in the Philippines and syndicates behind this are really raking a big amount of money.

The senator said that one measure that might stop cybercrime is to strengthen our country's information security framework.

To date, there are a number of government agencies - the NBI, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), private organizations and advocacy groups that provide the government support during cybercrime attacks. However, there is no formal agency that leads its operations.

"With the Cybercrime Law still under deliberation, we need an over-all information security network that is strong and established - with solid cyber security policies and operations, we can have a wall of protection against cybercrime," Binay said.

Currently, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 is the one covering particular sex crimes against children, while the Cybercrime Law is supposed to cover online sex trade and other online crimes.

While the Cybercrime law adopts the RA 9775 definition of child pornography, the penalty imposed for child pornography is one degree higher.

"It's very easy to set up a cybersex production ring. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and the victim. Despite this, we still have no strong legal teeth that can fight this," she added.

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe who also condemned cybersex particularly for children also urged citizens to report to the proper authority suspicious activities online.

Poe also urged communities to work with law enforcers in stopping cyber pornography and save the children, many of whom have parents who are actually encouraging the trade because they earn from it.

According to reports, usually the parents would be approached. They would be supplied with a computer for live streaming.

For still photographs, they would be told to go to a studio. For the victims, they will make it look like it is just child's play.

"Nakakalungkot at nakakaawa ang mga bata ito kung kayat dapat tayong maging mapagbantay. Hindi dapat pabayaan lamang ang mga batang ito gamit ang kanilang kamusmusan at kawalang ng lakas para lumaban sa sinuman nasa sa likod ng ganitong Gawain," Poe said.

It was also learned that most of the foreigners involved in the trade have Filipino accomplices and are usually married to a Filipina.

Poe said citizens should report to the police if they see children with adults suspiciously entering resorts, hotels and residences. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

Local news

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