PNP attacks Facebook, YouTube users attack children
The HRC condemns sexual abuse and exploitation of children online
MANILA — The Philippine National Police on Thursday sought court support to obtain information from social media platforms Facebook and YouTube against those behind online accounts that allegedly prey on children.
The Women and Children Cybercrime Protection Unit (WCCPU) of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has filed an application with the Manila Regional Magistrate’s Court for the issuance of a Computer Data Disclosure Warrant (WDCD).
According to the WCCPU, this will allow them to secure information from Facebook and YouTube as to the identity of the account user(s) “for the filing of appropriate charges in court.”
In mid-July, Senator Risa Hontiveros first unveiled the “Usapang Diskarte” YouTube channel which posted videos on how to groom a young girl and how to have sex with a child.
It had 252,000 subscribers.
The group’s Facebook and YouTube pages have since been taken down following a request from the DOJ Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OCC).
Hontiveros also exposed the “Atabs” and “LF Kuya and Bunso” Facebook groups that post images of minors to attract predators.
As soon as their WDCD request is accepted by the court, the WCCPU intends to file it with the DOJ-OCC.
No complainant has so far come forward, but the WCCPU has launched its own investigation following Hontiveros’ revelations.
The Human Rights Commission (CHR) on Thursday denounced social media pages that “promote the exploitation of children”.
“We reaffirm that this is a heinous crime that violates the rights of minors and has lifelong consequences for victims and their families,” CHR executive director Jacqueline Ann De Guia said in a statement. .
The CHR had previously called on the president to sign the Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children Act (OSAEC), which would impose tougher penalties and require internet intermediaries and other internet or payment service providers to remove or remove websites that distribute content. abuse of minors.
The bill became law on Thursday.
“This key legislation will strengthen the role of law enforcement in prosecuting offenders and improve government coordination and response through the establishment of the National OSAEC Coordination Center under the Inter-Agency Counter-Agency Council. Trafficking (IACAT),” said the CHR.
“Furthermore, it will require active responsibility of media platforms and internet service providers to take down and delete illegal content related to the abuse and trafficking of minors.”
“With the law in place, the CHR will have a stronger legal umbrella to protect young people from child abusers and predators,” he said.
The HRC reminded the public that tackling online sexual abuse and exploitation is a community effort and requires a multi-pronged strategy.
“Combating a complex digital network of perpetrators requires a holistic approach. Strengthening media and information literacy, particularly in the context of implementing virtual and blended learning, is essential to teaching users to be vigilant against the dangers of the Web. Efforts to make defense and complaint mechanisms accessible to all must also be prioritized in order to provide sufficient support to victims of computer trafficking, especially children and their families,” the constitutional body said.
“Thus, we call on the general public to be proactive and vigilant on social media and to join us in our efforts to provide evidence and report to authorities those pages, groups and other virtual channels engaged in OSAEC-related crimes.” , he continued.
Official data showed reports of online sexual exploitation rose to 47,937 in 2020 from 19,000 in 2019 under quarantine restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.