Does anyone remember the buzz around the American proposed bill known as the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and the controversial multinational bill known as the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) that kept internet users and various web communities all around the world buzzing regarding its unconstitutional restrictions that can violate basic human rights such as the right to fair use, freedom of the speech, and freedom of the press? Now that we go that out of the way for the time being, do you also remember the continuous stupidity of a particular senator’s stupidity regarding plagiarism and copyright issues from ripping off a citizen blogger’s material to translating a piece from a famous address from another country’s senator without even giving proper credit where it’s due? If you have been wondering how stupidity is on the rise with these politicians who feel that they can use their political powers to ridicule and to regulate the way the common people use the internet, I would have to say that the crab mentality and the conceit of these individuals in the seat of power continues to baffle the common people and to give us more reasons to laugh at them.
I have been living in the U.S. for almost all my life, just about ten years before the internet came to rise among the common people and the beginning of the dot-com boom here in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are, as some people may refer to as being immoral, a lot of actions that users privately commit as part of their own personal yet private enjoyment. On the issue of sex for profit or casual sex, we’ve already cracked down on prostitution. It can simply be said the same with phone sex services, where two people engage in sexual activity just through voice and words by means of the telephone. Thanks to the rise of the internet, cybersex also came in to existence, where involved individuals engage in sexual activity just through chatrooms and private instant messaging systems, and in the case of mobile phones, through short texting and sending questionable images associated with the said acts. Think of cybersex, in some way, as you writing a sex scene in a fiction novel you are currently writing, except you have a “beta reader” of sorts and will be giving you a response to that one particular act to the next, accompanied by these explicit photos. The U.S. law’s main concern regarding these sex as profit is the issue of child pornography. As stated, the legal consensual age here in the States is 18, and any type of pornography or even real-life sexual act in which a minor under 18 is involved is considered illegal and perpetrators involved will suffer jail time and a hefty fine.
Bringing up that subject, I don’t remember seeing any news articles among the general Filipino press regarding the brand-new law that was recently passed known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. In fact I only learned about this through a Scottish-American-based tech and social media news called Mashable, most especially with the issue of having cybersex becoming illegal in the Philippines. This made me wonder why none of the Philippine press even reported this. Was it because of this new law that they too are being monitored and being restricted by this joke of the government at the wake of the whole plagiarism issue with one of their own? What say you, Tito Senator?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone any public sexual activity, let alone cybersex. I feel that child pornography is a serious immoral crime and that should be regulated highly, most especially if prostitution is involved. But seriously, cybersex? Here in the U.S., or rather California to be more specific, prostitution is illegal. I find prostitution a whole lot more immoral than cybersex and as far as my general knowledge goes, I don’t think prostitution is even illegal in the Philippines. I even remember that the high rise of sex slaves among young girls still exist in Southeast Asia and Philippines is no exception. I’m pretty sure that law enforcement are already cracking down on these illegal sex trades and human trafficking for many years now, but reality-wise, they still exist and still ongoing.
But let’s go back to the issue of cybersex. Cybersex, by the most part, can be committed by any private person, be it two lovers involved simply just exchanging each other’s sensual texts and images with each other. Even if it was between two lovers, yes, the Philippines would still penalize them just for that act alone. It also makes me wonder how the government is going to crack down on people engaging in cybersex because reality-wise, anybody can get involved in such an act, not just the usual perpetrators and violators who already have some kind of a criminal record. In the States, cybersex among minors have become an issue and also raised debates among local, state, and federal governments, but cybersex altogether that applies to consensual adults can also lead to the other issues of invasion of privacy and violating basic human rights.
With this new law, I believe that the government, once again, has underestimated the common people. Let’s get seriously real here. There are plenty of ways that these consensual individuals engage in cybersex aside from just exchanging explicit texts via mobile phones or go to pornographic websites that has cybersex services there. Plenty. Because of that there’s just no way that the government could ever regulate such acts caused by the general public. Even the government in the U.S. know that regardless of their highly-advanced technology, there was still no way for them to regulate online acts such as cybersex. It’s just impossible.
Lastly, it makes me wonder now if the government decided to make this ridiculously, utterly laughable move just to save their faces or as their unapologetic response to one particular senator’s habit of plagiarism, which every person around the world know, is a serious major crime. It makes me wonder if the government actually did thorough research of the entire issue and analyze both sides and the causes and the effects. We’re not just talking about morality anymore at this point, knowing that the issue of morality has evolved from time to time and it’s simply ridiculous for the government to penalize that one person due to his or her personal views towards morality in general. What another way to continue violating basic human rights of the common people, and to top it all off, invasion of a private citizen’s privacy.
The Philippine Government should be placed in the Wall of Shame for making such petty laws such as making cybersex illegal when there is so much serious cases that needed to be taken care of, such as the ongoing poverty among the Filipino people through the streets and throughout the country or even finding counter measures and innovatived solutions in natural disaster safety among all the cities and rural areas whenever a major typhoon hits.
A sarcasm thought: Good luck in regulating that law. As the various web communities state all around, pornography built the internet.
Last modified: September 20, 2012