Binay: PH ill-equipped to deal with cybersex

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Following reports of unhampered proliferation of child cybersex operations in the country, Sen. Nancy Binay said she will file a resolution that would look into the integrity of the country’s information security infrastructure.

At the House of Representatives, lawmakers from a party-list have urged police authorities to run after the syndicates engaged in cyber pornography in many parts the country.

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Binay said 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.

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 suggested.

The lady senator highlighted that one measure that might stop child cybersex, or cybercrime in general, 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.

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