Philippines Outlaws Cybersex

from the oh,-and-criminalizes-libel-too dept

The EFF points us to the news of the Philippines signing into law the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which has a number of interesting and worrisome provisions. The EFF, quite rightly, focuses on the fact that it makes online libel a criminal rather than civil offense, which could lead to jail time. They note that this provision appears to violate the UN’s Human Rights Council, which claims that criminal sanctions against libel are a problem. Also troubling: that section was added by one Senator, Vicente Sotto III, without any public hearing, after Sotto claimed “introducing Internet libel laws would make people more cautious online.” Hello, chilling effects.

But what caught my eye, was a couple sections up from the libel part. It appears that Cybersex is now a crime in the Philippines too. In the section that lists out “content-related offense,” number one on the list is:

Cybersex. — The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.

That wording seems a bit awkward, but it certainly seems to suggest that even willing cybersex is now illegal if it’s done “for favor or consideration.” People in the Philippines are quite reasonably worried that the language here is quite broad. And what’s the punishment? It seems a bit on the harsh side:

Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(1) of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of at least Two hundred thousand pesos (PhP200,000.00) but not exceeding One million pesos (PhPl,000,000.00) or both.

Prision mayor appears to mean at least six years in prison. 200,000 Philipine pesos is about $5,000. So… basically cybersex is a crime in the Philippines that could net you more than six years in jail… and fines of between $5,000 and $25,000.

That seems a bit… harsh.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Philippines Outlaws Cybersex”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Ninja (profile) says:

I’m having trouble here to decide what his motives were.

I thought of a few:

1- Reduce the number of abandoned e-kids as a result of unplanned e-parenthood.
2- Promote and increase offline sexual activity (epic win!).
3- Decrease and prevent further spreading of e-STD (commonly known as malware).

I’m inclined to believe his original motives were noble and so he was thinking of all those e-children generated from cybersex all alone in the tubes!

Deirdre (profile) says:

The legal definition of consideration when discussing a contract or agreement does not necessarily mean hard cash or actual goods. Consideration is an item of value but it can be as vague and hard to quantify as “natural love and affection” owed from one person to another rather than explicit payment or even barter. Also it can be that one party agrees to undertake some act for the other person as consideration.

This sounds like sloppy legal drafting.

Anonymous Coward says:

You have to understand that the Philippines is one of those places that is a capital of cybersex, girls working for a fairly low rate, but it is still much higher than the would get in any other job.

The laws are being changed to bring them in line with other low wage countries in the area such as Thailand, which is a mecca for the porn business but where much of the activity is either purely illegal or blocked by zealous local police.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, yes. If they are filmed in Thailand (and appear to be) then yes, they are technically illegal under Thai law. Filming any pornography in Thailand is a big offense. Plenty of it happens, but that’s a different story.

The Philippines has been home to many in the porn industry looking for low wage slaves to build sites and spam their content all over the net. Now it looks like they will have to move again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Stupid sex laws

Sex between consenting unmarried adults is unlawful in some states in the U.S. even today.
Backward laws regarding sex have existed though out history in lots of places.
for instance, if cybersex was banned in Georgia, people couldn’t have sex at all unless they were married!

Banning cybersex is only going to cause more people to come together in person for their nefarious activities.

But instead of ebabies there will be be real ones, causing a spike in world population which will result in a serious lack of resources that will cause the collapse of civilization as we know it.

The humanity!

Don’t these people think these things through!

not to smart says:

On Review...

In the Philippines this is the only way a lot of these poeple may eat from day to day , this law which has been around for quite awhile now is helping the poor remain poor all for what seems to be a rather harmless activity , if the concern is over underage or child porn , making it leagal would probably make it easier to find those offenders

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...