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Philippines pinches nose, averts eyes, bans cybersex

And 12 years in the slammer for ‘comment trolls’

The government of the Philippines – which presides over a population that’s a jewel in the Vatican crown – has passed a cybersecurity law which, among other things, outlaws cybersex.

That country’s new “cybercrime act” – ostensibly a bill banning computer security attacks – also drops a maximum 12-year, no-parole prison sentence on anybody posting libelous comments on social network sites or blogs.

Computer fraud and malware are also targeted in the new law, but it’s the measures against cybersex, 'cam girls' and free speech that have attracted the most comment, both at home and abroad.

The bill defines cybersex as “the wilful 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 favour or consideration”.

The Philippines government told the Sun Star newspaper the cybersex provisions in the bill are designed to protect girls from being trafficked into being 'cam girls' against their will.

That country’s National Union of Journalists, however, says the bill betrays a government that opposes freedom of speech.

Perhaps in anticipation of a business-as-usual response from Anonymous, the new law also makes the procurement and publication of passwords illegal. ®

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