Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NO to Child Pornography

Child pornography has been given scant attention in the Philippines. A research done by the UP CIDS[1] shows that cases of child pornography are often treated as mere accessory to graver issues of sexual exploitation of children. This highlights the fact that people hardly understand the gravity of the problem of child pornography.

The Anti-Child Pornography Law (RA 9775) is a landmark legislation that purports to provide the full legal armor against child pornography, and the further protection of the rights of every child. Some of its features include the definition of child pornography (Sec. 2b), as well as regulation of internet kiosks and cafes (sec. 12). Interestingly, it also requires internet service providers (ISP) to notify the PNP or the NBI within seven (7) days from obtaining facts and circumstances that any form of child pornography is being committed using its server or facility (sec. 9). Violation of this provision shall subject the ISP to penalties.

For me, child pornography is one of the most repulsive acts of man. And while legislative attempts have been laudable, the reality is that the issue is far too complex as it seems. It is unfortunate that its complexity is contributed further by technology and the rising universality of man’s access to the internet. It is truly sad that one of the best invention of man has been used to support mankind’s worst.

It is my opinion therefore that LGUs should be mandated to strictly regulate internet cafes, since most instances of child pornography happen in these establishments. It should be noted also that the law confers upon ISPs the duty to notify. As much as this is a welcome development, there are obvious limitations to this, since the law also recognizes that ISPs cannot monitor the content of communications between users and/or subscribers.

[1] Arnie C. Trinidad, “Child Pornography in the Philippines”, published by University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) and UNICEF Manila, 2005

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