DOJ issues guidelines for children’s protection during online classes
Robie de Guzman • September 25, 2020 • 860
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 email@example.com and mobile number 0998-598-8116; National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division at email firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number (+632) 8523-8231; and Department of Justice Cybercrime Office through email: email@example.com and contact number (+632) 8524-8216. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to open an investigation following reports of students allegedly selling lewd photos and videos online.
Based on reports of The Philippine Online Student Tambayan (POST), a news portal on the student sector, several students are using #AlterPH, #AlterPinay, and #AlterPhilippines on Twitter to sell their photos and videos so that they could buy gadgets for their siblings and pay for internet bills.
“Nakakabahalang dahil sa mga suliraning dinudulot ng pandemya, ang ating mga kabataan ay nahaharap sa matinding panganib na maging biktima ng pang-aabuso at karahasan (It is alarming that because of the effects of the pandemic, our students are facing risks of becoming victims of abuse and violence),” he said in a statement.
There has been a spike in the number of online sexual exploitation cases compared to last year. Between March 1 to May 24 2020, there were 279,166 cases of online sexual exploitation recorded in Metro Manila; a 264% increase compared to the 76,561 cases recorded from the same period last year.
Gatchalian also urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to boost its child protection program to better identify learners who may be experiencing abuse and exploitation. AAC
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)
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
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