September 5, 2007
Legarda wants "Boy Bastos" shut down
Sen. Loren Legarda has urged the authorities to close down the web site boybastos.com, which she said provides Internet users, including minors, free and unrestricted access to the largest online accumulation of "extremely hardcore pornographic materials" of Filipino women and girls.
"This is by far the filthiest Internet site we've come across that offers open and unlimited access to some of the most obscene videos and photographs of Filipino women and girls," Legarda said.
The senator urged the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the National Bureau of Investigation to find ways to shut off boybastos.com, which claims on its site to be "the premiere bastos portal of the Philippines."
The IACAT is the agency tasked to enforce the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and other laws against the prostitution, white slavery and the sexual exploitation of women and children.
Besides flaunting a massive and open electronic gallery of lewd pictures of women and girls, boybastos.com also provides clear access to a "YouTube" of hardcore porn videos. It also serves as virtual gateway to some of the world's "dirtiest" Internet sites, Legarda said.
"Our biggest worry here is free access. Other adult sites at least require prior user registration and credit card details, which somehow help to screen or discourage minors," Legarda said.
Based on the initial investigation conducted by her office, the senator said boybastos.com has managed to hoard thousands of pornographic materials of Filipino women and girls "apparently through the connivance of well-equipped cybersex operators."
"We reckon that cybersex operators themselves are behind boybastos.com, purposely using free access to rouse a multitude of porn addicts, and lure potential customers that can then be directed to linked paid services," Legarda said.
In cybersex, live sexual acts are performed by "models" -- women, men, even children -- in front of remotely connected web cameras that stream images directly to the computers of paying Internet users.
The online performances are meant for paying private clients, but the "maintainers" of the models have clearly been secretly video-recording the sessions, and then selling the electronic copies to other parties, such as boybastos.com, according to Legarda.
The senator said the administrators of boybastos.com have "evidently also been investing large sums, surfing paid porn sites abroad, downloading materials for a fee, and then freely posting these for all to see."
"This may explain why the site also has porn videos and photographs Filipino women in Japan and elsewhere," Legarda said.
Additionally, boybastos.com has been encouraging users and visitors to voluntarily contribute to the site any porn materials they could lay their hands own. Thus, the site also boasts a video archive of so-called "sex scandals."
Legarda is author of Senate Bill 1375, the proposed Anti-Computer Pornography Act, which seeks to reinforce the war on electronic smut.
Under the bill, peddlers of online porn and other "indecent materials" would be punished with up to six years in prison or a fine of as much as P500,000, or both.
The bill provides that it would be illegal for any remote computer facility operator, electronic service provider or electronic bulletin board service provider to knowingly transmit, offer or attempt to send any communication that contains indecent material, to a person under 18 years of age.
It would also be unlawful for them "to allow access to transmit indecent material to a minor."
Legarda stressed the need for Congress "to protect children from indecent and immoral materials conveyed through computer technology."
As defined by the bill, "indecent materials" would refer to "obscene literature or indecent or immoral plays, scenes, acts, or shows, whether live or in film."
These include materials that glorify criminals or condone crimes; serve no other purpose but to satisfy the market of violence, lust or pornography; offend any race or religion; tend to abet traffic in and use of illicit drugs; and are contrary to law, public order, morals, good customs, established policies, lawful order, decrees and edicts.
The IACAT is composed of the departments of justice, social welfare, foreign affairs and labor, as well as the immigration bureau, the police, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women and three groups representing women, children and overseas workers.
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