Dealing with computer-related crimes in the Philippines is still in its infancy. The law enforcement agencies and the judicial system are still ill-equipped to handle high-tech cases, both in terms of experience and equipment. As computer-related crimes exist across borders, technical assistance is necessary among countries, with equipment and training being provided by more developed countries. For one, the United States of America set up a computer crime unit in the Philippines in 2003. Atty. Ivan John E. Uy, chairman of the subcommittee on e-commerce of the Rules of Court committee and Director of the Management Information System Office of the Supreme Court, said that the computer crime unit was envisioned to supervise all computer-related crimes that will be manned by Philippine government officials skilled in computer crime investigation and prosecution. [ 182 ] The question of enforcement is a constant, and the outcome of such relies upon the political will of public authorities. The question of the existence of law should never laxly taken, and should be revised and reconciled with the reality of the situation, inasmuch as the ones who aim to violate the law are active and crafty in finding ways to bend, if not break, or go around the law.
The prominence of organized cybersex business, with the recent raid on Orgasmic Studios Inc., highlighted the need for stricter laws against obscenities. [ 183 ] Although certain senators, such as Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senator Mar Roxas, claim that there are enough laws to prosecute prostitution and sexual exploitation through the Internet, in light of the anti-trafficking law, certain sectors remain to see them as inadequate and lax. Still, there is an agreement that proper agencies should pursue the drive against cybersex vigorously. Supplementary to this, legislators propose that said agencies should be adequately equipped in terms of technology, human resources, state-of-the-art equipment and the necessary facilities and logistics. [ 184 ]
Certain measures are proposed herein:
There should be stricter fines against operators of organized cybersex business, and effectively classify such operators in the same level as other participants in organized crime.
There should be better system of facilities inspection to determine whether a cybercafe, indeed operates for the benefit of public, or is being used as a front to cater to private indulgences.
There should be a central registry of all mobile phone numbers, whether pre-paid or post-paid, to determine the identity of the person who used said SIM card in the perpetuation of prohibited acts. Said registry should also include transaction dates of transfer of SIM.
There should be proper mapping of Philippine websites, featuring adult content, even if such do not espouse the .ph domain. Pornography is not condoned within Philippine jurisdiction, and thus there is no reason to mitigate or qualify the issue with arguments involving financial viability, or implication as to lost taxes.
There should be a central registry of all MAC addresses for computers (and similar devices) to determine the identity of the user-owner of the computer which may be used in the perpetuation of prohibited acts. Said registry should also include transaction dates of sale of the computer (and allied devices).
II. Sex Scandals and lewd MMS clips
The penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from six thousand to twelve thousand pesos or both is obviously inadequate to impose upon a violator of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code. Stiffer fines should be made inasmuch as the reputation and dignity of those who took part in the film, particularly the women, are forever ruined. Producers and distributors of such film or videos should be fined more harshly inasmuch as they have the financial means and the boldness to mass produce the films,and therefore magnifies the damage that would be inflicted upon the ad hoc porn actors depicted in the video/film/clip.
Further, some other measures are proposed herein:
Further regulation must be made in the proper use of telecommunication networks, especially as to the transmission of objectionable content.
There should be an tailor-fit article within the Revised Penal Code as to crimes against honor that would shield persons from dishonor, discredit, or contempt, even without manifest imputation by words or writing, but by imputation by analogous deed (such as unconsented distribution). Stiff penalties should be imposed against persons who leak personal sexual documents, which incriminates other persons besides the distributor himself/herself, to the public.
There should be a law imposing higher penalties against people who install hidden cameras and other paraphernalia to spy upon people in their intimate moments. Thus, there should be an equivalent law to the Wire Tapping Law – as the latter dwells solely on sound recordings – that would apply to videos and pictures. This is necessary inasmuch as a University instructor in Bacolod City, to illustrate, installed surveillance equipment or a hidden camera inside his boarding house’s bathroom. [ 185 ]
Proper laws must be made in preventing voyeurs from utilizing any camera-like devices to acquire images of strangers, especially for malicious reasons (such as downblousing and upskirting), in public places and communal spaces.
Proper laws must be made to strengthen the rights of people to dignity and privacy.
Laws regulating data handling by technicians, whether as to computers, mobile phones or analogous devices, must be in place.