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The Philippines is the 8th highest Facebook user in the world, with 91.02% online use penetration rate. Indeed Pinoys are now cyber citizens these days. Even children as early as 5 years can search on their favorite games in the Internet. In an effort to further educate parents and teachers into a safer Internet use of their children, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has launched their campaign website called “Project Angel Net”

With the URL  www.cidgangelnet.ph, you can browse around for information about cyber crimes prevention such as human trafficking and pornography. Children and teens are said to be the most vulnerable prey for such dangers. You can also learn more about Internet activities that kids might engage into, the risks of such activities and what the CIDG is planning to protect the public online.

Project Angel Net has three main action programs: public awareness, capability building and police intervention. Filing a report is emphasized in this site. As police always say, they cannot take action unless someone makes a report. Helping the project in terms of information gathering and dissemination will keep this program running. Without public help, cyber crimes in the country will still be hidden in the shadows.

Challenges of Catching Perpetrators

The Internet has provided a sense of anonymity, very conducive for cyber criminals to accomplish their deeds. They can hide under false usernames, photos, email addresses and communicate in codes with their accomplices. Highly advanced methods can make use of IP proxies and jammers, making it harder to detect a computer user’s location in the world. Still most crimes are done in complete privacy between the criminal and victim such as sexual abuse. Therefore, any pertinent information or tip reported to the police can help solve a cyber crime case.

How much teeth is showing?

Most reported cases are cheating on online gambling, cyber bullying, voyeurism (displaying of hidden photos or videos involving scandalous circumstances) and blackmail. All of these had involved minors. However at present, there is no special law specifically for Internet crimes, the laws under the Revised Penal Code are applied for these offenses. With the existing laws, Internet crime has to be proved with sufficient evidence before any court decision, which is hard since Internet evidences don’t leave much trail to point the perpetrator. This leaves the Project Angel Net only showing teeth but not much force to bite. CIDG therefore leaves parents and teachers to take charge of protecting their children’s online safety as we all wait for full capability of the law to protect our young net-citizens.