Online child abuse is the biggest source of cybercrime in the Philippines, a senior official has said, so the government is now partnering with the private sector to block access to child pornographic sites on computers, smartphones and tablets.
46 per cent of cybercrime cases handled by the police and investigation bureaus are related to online child abuse, said Leila de Lima, Secretary, Justice Department. A further 25 per cent relate to extortion of money using online sexual abuse.
“The [Department of Justice] is working with telcos for a filtering software to restrict access to porn/banned sites as we fight against online child sexual abuse,” she announced.
The department also formed a new “specially trained unit” last month to prosecute cyber criminals, de Lima said. “ICT is fast evolving and the department needs to learn and adapt to the new threats.” She has also urged the Supreme Court to create courts dedicated to enforcing cybercrime laws.
The government cannot fight online sexual abuse alone and will need to work with other organisations, she added.
“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,” she said.
In January, the Philippines, Australia and United Kingdom arrested 29 people in a probe into online abuse of children in the Philippines.