Date: Tue, 12 Mar 96 16:12 PST
From: Jim Ayson <>
Subject: Censorship of Philippine Internet Looms

------ forwarded message from RP-Internet ------
From: (Mar Arcega)
Date: 12 Mar 96 09:04:23
Subject: Re: [ph-isp] Telecom laws
To: (Multiple recipients of RP-FIDONET Internet Area)

Quoting to All

Sex in cyberspace alarms senate; Probe pressed

From the Manila Bulletin, 11 March 1996

The Senate expressed alarm yesterday over the stretch of information and entertainment materials that are found on on-line services such as E-mail and the Internet.

Sens. Blas F. Ople and Orlando Mercado warned on "cyberspace" abuses such as pornography and violence, adding that two Senate committees are poised to conduct their own investigation on the matter.

The two Senate committees are science and technology chaired by Mercado and public information and mass media chaired by Sen. Ramon Revilla.

Ople told a news conference that "a great deal of smut" is available on the Internet whereby "Filipino women and children are peddled in some databases."

In his resolution, Mercado cited a recent study that at least 917,410 sexually explicit pictures, descriptions, short stories and film clips are available on the Internet.

He also disclosed that there are 21 Internet Service Providers in the country which make it possible for at least 50 private and public organizations hooked up on the Internet.

Mercado estimated that at least 100,000 young individuals grabbed the option to download, copy and distribute these pornographic materials, while the government has no regulatory powers to check its transmission.

Ople cited that a wide number of subscribers, mostly teenagers and male professionals, have been using softwares called "Cyberporn" and "Cybersex."

"There is a great deal of obscenity on the information highway," Ople said, adding that while he advocates and values computer literacy, unrestricted entry of pornography from foreign sources is "repugnant in a civil society."

Ople warned that this liberty could be turned into a license that defames Filipino women, exploits children and makes technology a venue for "voyeurism" instead of learning.

Ople and Mercado said the government should draft new legislation that bans transmission through Internet of state secrets, information harmful to State security and pornography. (Ferdie J. Maglalang)