DOJ issues guidelines for children’s protection during online classes

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020   •   339

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a set of guidelines to ensure the protection of children from abuse and harmful content during the conduct of online classes.

The DOJ released the guidelines less than two weeks before the opening of Schoolyear 2020-2021 in public schools under a blended learning setting.

The Department of Education earlier said that classes will open on October 5.

In releasing the guidelines, the DOJ Cybercrime Division acknowledged that using video conferencing for online classes poses many security risks, including exposure of students to abusive strangers, harmful online content and loss of confidentiality, availability and integrity of computer data.

For school administrators, the DOJ advised to never share meeting room credentials – including the ID and password – to the public.

Meetings should also be set as follows:

  • Accept meeting participants’ request to join individually
  • Provide a standard naming instruction for the participants
  • Start meeting with participants’ video off
  • Require a password from the participants
  • Mute participants upon entry
  • Disable file transfer and screen share access for participants not assigned as hosts of the meeting

Participants also should not be allowed to rename themselves, send messages to other participants, and change their background with any selected image.

Students should also not be allowed to be alone in the virtual classroom, and a school administrator must always be present for supervision.

The DOJ also advised teachers to regularly update the application being used as every application connected to the internet is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The department, meanwhile, urges parents and guardians to guide their children on how to implement safety measures and to teach them how to discern information online to prevent becoming a victim of cybercrimes.

The DOJ also called on the public to report to authorities any irregularities or untoward incidents during online classes.

They may report it to the PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group through email acg@acg.pnp.gov.ph and mobile number 0998-598-8116; National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division at email ccd@nbi.gov.ph and telephone number (+632) 8523-8231; and Department of Justice Cybercrime Office through email: cybercrime@doj.gov.ph and contact number (+632) 8524-8216. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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NBI probes rape threat against celebrity daughter Frankie Pangilinan

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now verifying the identity of a netizen who allegedly threatened to rape Frankie Pangilinan, the daughter of Senator Kiko Pangilinan and Megastar Sharon Cuneta.

NBI-Cybercrime Division Chief Atty. Vic Lorenzo said the agency is looking into the true identity of the person behind the social media account that posted a direct threat of rape against the celebrity daughter.

The age of the perpetrator is also an important factor that will help determine the appropriate charges to be filed against the creator and owner of the account.

Iyong post kasi ang nakalagay: “Kung 12 years old ako gagahasain ko ang anak mo tapos hindi ako makukulong.” So ide-determine natin kung ano ang edad noong actual na nagpost ng threatening message na iyon,” Lorenzo explained.

[The post said: “If only I am 12 years old, I will rape your daughter without being detained. So we will determine the age of the person who actually posted that threatening message.]

“Kapag kasi minor iyan, may mga configuration tayo. Kasi meron tayong juvenille justice and Welfare Act. Iko-consider iyon,” he added.

[Because if he is a minor, there are certain configurations. We have the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act. We will consider that.]

The official said that if the perpetrator is an adult, he will face charges under the Cybercrime Law.

The NBI warned the public not to threaten anyone even on social media, may it be true or as a joke, as it has corresponding charges under the law.

May kulong ang light threat saka unjust vexation medyo mababa ang penalty, imprisonment nyan. Pero kapag in relation to RA 10175, one degree higher yan so 6 years 1 day to 12 years ang penalty noon,” Lorenzo noted.

[Light threat and unjust vexation has a penalty of imprisonment but very short. But if it’s in connection with RA 10175, that’s one degree higher so the penalty is 6years 1 day to 12 years imprisonment.]

Based on Cuneta’s post, they suspect that the netizen is living abroad and they already have a hint as to the workplace of that person.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menarso Guevarra said it is possible to track a person even if he is abroad through coordination between the Philippine Justice Department and the country where the person is, to establish jurisdiction on the respondent. –MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Online child abuse leading cybercrime in PH

Marje Pelayo   •   April 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has noted that online child abuse is the top cybercrime in the Philippines.

According to UNICEF Country Representative Julia Rees, the massive presence of Filipino children online makes them “vulnerable to online sexual abuse and exploitation.”

UNICEF argued that such crimes are made possible with new technologies, such as live streaming which puts more Filipino children at risk.

The National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children shows cyber violence is affecting one in two Filipino children aged 13 to 17.

“One in three internet users is a child,” Rees said.

“While the government has been trying to respond to the demand, breadth, scope and agility of the technology-not to mention the extreme accessibility of digital platforms – there must be more that we can do together to protect our children,” she added.

To help protect Filipino children from online abuse, the Australian Embassy in Manila pledged to provide P298 million over the next six years to fund the SaferKidsPH program which aims at reducing online sexual exploitation in the country.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson said, “Addressing online sexual exploitation and abuse of children is a global concern.”

Through the SaferKidsPH project, the Australian government reinforces its commitment to support the Philippine government in its efforts to address cyber abuse and violence which he considers a “complex form of human trafficking.” – Marje Pelayo

Rappler CEO faces NBI probe on cyber libel complaint

admin   •   January 22, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — Rappler CEO, Maria Ressa appeared at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime Division, Monday, on a cyber libel complaint.

Ressa said that while they were given the opportunity to answer the complaint, she still sees another motive for it.

She thinks that the timing is suspicious because the probe was set after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked their license.

“Obviously, I still see this as a continuing pattern to harass and/or to shut down Rappler. I still see it as part of a concerted effort that will have an impact on press freedom in the country,” said Ressa.

She assured that Rappler is ready to face all complaints and cases which may be filed against them.

“We appeal to government authorities to do the right thing, to follow the rule of law, to give us due process. We have nothing to hide. We’ll completely submit ourselves as I did today,” said the CEO.

The cyber libel complaint was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng last December over an article Rappler published in May 2012.

Said article was about then Chief Justice Renato Corona using Keng’s SUVs but also contain the businessman’s alleged involvement in human trafficking and drug smuggling.

While the article was written before the enactment of the Anti-Cybercrime Law, it was updated by Rappler in 2014 hence, the complainant argued that it could be qualified as a cyber libel.

But IT expert and Rappler counsel Atty. JJ Disini sees a defect in the complaint.

“The publication precedes or happened even before the law was in existence and therefore it causes into question whether or not it could apply in this case,” said the legal counsel.

He pointed out that it would be a big problem if this is affirmed since it would mean authors and publishers of decade-old articles could still be charged with cyber-libel, as long as these articles are accessible on the internet.

“If that constitutes libel today, then no one is safe. Anyone that has a libelous article that continues to be accessible today may be charged with libel and moving forward it affects everyone, not just media outlets, but also even bloggers, people who published some libel maybe ten years ago if somehow it finds its way online,” said the lawyer.

The NBI Cybercrime Division Chief said that they will study the law’s provision on this very carefully.

Rappler was given 10 days to submit their answer to the complaint.

As soon as they complied with the submission of their affidavit, we will immediately evaluate the case and submit a recommendation,” said Eduarte. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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