Philippine Government Pushing for Porn Filtering

Bob Johnson

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is pushing for the development of filtering software to block porn on computers, smartphones, and tablets in an effort to stem cases of online child abuse.

According to reports, the campaign is aimed at preventing children from being exploited in the production of porn content and preventing underage people from accessing adult sites.

Justice Assistant Secretary Geronimo Sy, head of the Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime said the new software would automatically ban porn sites worldwide.

“It will show certain banned websites at least from Interpol and Europol that we put together,” Sy said.

Officials have asked telecommunication companies to install an at-source filter that will automatically block sites with sexual content.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said the DOJ is working with telcos for the filtering software. But Sy said none are cooperating. “If they still continue to hedge and not do it, because every day crimes are committed, we’ll have to take stronger action and make sure it happens at least within the next six to 12 months.”

De Lima said the Philippines National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation have logged in nearly 200 cases of online child abuse in the country yearly since 2013, accounting for 46 percent of all cybercrime cases.

“These images can be copied…potentially ad infinitum (endless) so that the children they portray can be effectively revictimized forever, over and over again,” De Lima said.

She added, “The problem of online child sexual abuse demands cooperation among all relevant stakeholders, and it cannot and must not be solved by government alone. It cannot be solved by government alone because of the multivalent nature of this crime, which is carried out through Internet service providers and transacted using financial institutions, and which needs to be combated with effective information campaigns in schools, churches, and media.

“The scale of online child sexual abuse demands that nations act swiftly and decisively against it, through the enactment and enforcement of laws to punish its perpetrators and protect its victims.”

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