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Wanking to lewd Web videos now a crime in the Philippines!

September 17, 2012
by Kate Natividad

Now that there is an anti-Cybercrime law in the Philippines, stuff published online is now subject to the same libel laws that have for some time been applied to stuff published on traditional media like newspapers and magazines and broadcast on TV and radio. I suppose the principle there is that computers and their networks are just another medium used to disseminate content. As such the libel law just needed to be updated to cover those new distribution channels.

But then the same law also bans “cybersex”, defined as…

[...] 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.

There is something wrong with that part of the law. If the Web is considered by the law to be just another form of publication or broadcast medium, wouldn’t the Web (using the same thinking) also be just another venue for sexual activity? In essence, blogging and social media is to traditional media as cybersex is to traditional sex in the bedroom (or car backseat, for that matter).

Whereas there is an existing libel law that penalizes unlawful behavior in traditional media that can be applied now that the concept of “media” has been extended to the Web, there is no law against sexual activity between consenting adults in traditional places (like the bedroom) that can be applied to non-traditional venues for sex.

The sentence structure with which the clause on cybersex is articulated in the new law allows us to interpret it into component stipulations using the following structure:

the willful…

[choose one:] {engagement, maintenance, control, operation};

[choose one:] {directly, indirectly};

…of any…

[choose one:] {lascivious exhibition of sexual organs, sexual activity};

…with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.

We can construct one permutation from the above phrase that will look like this:

“the willful engagement, directly, of any sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system for favor or consideration”

Voila! One can argue that masturbating while watching lewd videos online even in the privacy of your own home is a criminal activity under that premise. Wow! The Philippine police are gonna have their hands full arresting hundreds of thousands of Filipino wankers!

I’d understand if the cybersex parts of the new law apply existing laws covering unlawful sexual activities to online venues (like it does for libel). However, reading the text describing the definition of (now unlawful) cybersex in Republic Act 10175, it seems that all online sexual activity — including that engaged in by consenting adults — is now a crime in the Philippines.

Kate Natividad

Frustrated artist doing geek for a living.

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30 Comments

  • Gogs says:

    There goes my homebased sideline where I am paid in load.

  • Amir Al Bahr says:

    That law is gonna make it harder for people to come in houses. :P

  • kagbalete says:

    A law that cannot be enforced is a useless law… How will they prosecute a blogger based on foreign soil?

  • Bill Steffen says:

    Hahahahahaha Kate, you never cease to amaze me. lol

  • Robert Haighton says:

    A cop on every corner of the street to check on this? Whats the fine/penalty for wanking at home? They say “crime doesnt pay” but I really wonder what the fine will be? Two years imprisonment and then being locked up with other (male & female) wankers in one cell. Now that would be a joy!!!! (LOL). Make my day. (LOL)

  • BenK says:

    So if someone, hypothetically, decided to flog the dummy to this article, would that be a violation? ‘Cause I was sorta considering it.

    Sorry. I’ve had a lot of coffee this evening.

  • jcc says:

    “the willful engagement, directly, of any sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system for favor or consideration”

    I’d understand if the cybersex parts of the new law apply existing laws covering unlawful sexual activities to online venues (like it does for libel). However, reading the text describing the definition of (now unlawful) cybersex in Republic Act 10175, it seems that all online sexual activity — including that engaged in by consenting adults — is now a crime in the Philippines.

    Your conclusion is wrong.. Two consenting adults doing it online for mutual satisfaction does not constitute a crime in the absence of “favors or consideration.” It is only a crime when these two consenting adults exhibit their sexual activity before the public for a fee, (favor or consideration) that it becomes a crime under this new law.

    However, under existing law, indecent exposure and other immoral activity (pornography), which include, i submit, screwing up a partner displayed on the web is tangentially covered by Art. 200, Sec. (b), Revised Penal Code, Book II:

    b) Those who, in theaters, fairs, cinematographs or any other place, exhibit, indecent or immoral plays, scenes, acts or shows, whether live or in film, which are prescribed by virtue hereof, shall include those which (1) glorify criminals or condone crimes; (2) serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market for violence, lust or pornography; (3) offend any race or religion; (4) tend to abet traffic in and use of prohibited drugs; and (5) are contrary to law, public order, morals, and good customs, established policies, lawful orders, decrees and edicts.

    The phrase “or any other place” could include the WWW.

    • Kate Natividad says:

      Maybe if the law meant to put it the way you did then it should have been written the way you wrote it. The law pertaining specifically to cybersex, as I’ve read it, makes no mention of such conditions involving fees or public exposure. I’ve deconstructed the sentence and it is internally consistent — cybersex even between consenting adults is categorically ILLEGAL according to Philippine law. :P

    • Mirror Force says:

      A question: among the two of you (i.e. JCC and Ms. Kate right here), who’s a lawyer? :o

  • Der Fuhrer says:

    Duh… What if I browse MILFfox or classic nudes. Will this make me liable? LoL!

  • Paul Lind Jr says:

    My lap top & I have now cancelled our trip to the Philippines

  • upnngrad says:

    One may not need to be too excited about this getting jailed for wanking wanking.

    Remember — Pilipinas is very lenient with criminals. My basis — Pilipinas statute of limitations.

    One can get away with murder in Pilipinas — one evidence?? “Who masterminded Ninoy Aquino assasination???”. Lampas na// statute-of-limitations on Ninoy at the tarmac, and a barbero somewhere may speculate that baka naman Noynoy has already made peace with mastermind.

    Back to wanking —> my guess. Compared to murder, then statute of limitations on wanking would be very short…. like “ten minutes after the stuff dries”.

  • johndoenymous@gmail.com says:

    {Police enters a home}
    P:Sir, put the mouse down and let go of the stick!

  • Combuzz says:

    OMG I’m a cybercriminal. Everynight I participate in illegal activity when I use the aid of the computer, paid by a fee to BanBros, in order to “put myself to sleep”.

  • Realist says:

    Our lawmakers don’t get it! Not only that but they’re hypocrites as I’m sure a large chunk of them enjoy porn material in their spare time!

    Anyway, if you really wanna keep the population under control, you gotta give them their porn access, y’know? I know for a fact that the Chinese government (with their notorious Great Firewall of China) has actually quietly liberalized their restrictions on porn over the years. Read this article to know more: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-205_162-6703860.html

    Just my two cents!

  • nikedadoug says:

    They should have made it clearer, more specific. Isn’t sex that intimate time shared between two consenting adults? The only time I’d consider sex as against the law is if it violates that thing about public indecency or if its between someone or someones not of age.
    This RA is driving me up the wall with just how many loopholes, or simply put, holes it has within its paragraphs.
    Good thing it is, in a sense, under review.

  • Pastor Ernie says:

    Well I just visited a porn site and jerked off. Will the NBI come knocking on my door now?

    Why don’t we all have a national jerk off to pornography day to protest this law.

  • Brian says:

    The target is Webcam sites. Girls are giving live masturbation shows on the web and it is very hard for this to be regulated. Nobody is able to check to see if the girls are of legal age or if they are coerced. I think you should commend the government of the Philippines for taking a stand against human smuggling and the possible corruption and exploitation of minors. Nobody is going to care if a husband and wife that have been separated are doing a little webcam hanky-panky.

  • Gilbert says:

    I am with jcc on this one. My read on it is that it has to be done for “favor or consideration.”

    Two consenting adults having cybersex for mutual pleasure, without one providing the other monetary or material gifts/compensation, is not for favor or consideration.

    But I still would not be up for being a test case on this one. Especially given light of the rampant corruption in the criminal justice and legal system there.

    Just my 2 cents.

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