Cybersex

LAW EACH WEEK

What is cybersex?

Under Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Cybersex is definded as the willful engagement, maintenance, control or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.

When a person willfully engages in acts of lascivious exhibition of his/her sexual organs using webcams for monetary gain given by the audience, then the act becomes a violation of this special law.

The law seeks to cover all acts committed through the use of information technology or by whatever means of a person engaged in real or simulated sexual activities. The use of the word in “favor” for a consideration suggests that the perpetrator cannot use the defense that no money was paid if the act itself was done on the grounds that the victim will be nonetheless paid.

What is the penalty of cybersex?

Under Republic Act 10175, the penalty is prision mayor (6 years and 1 day to 12 years) or a fine of at least Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) but not exceeding One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00).

Is it still the crime of cybersex when two consenting adults do such act online?

No. In the case of Disini et al. v Secretary of Justice (G.R. No. 203335, February 11, 2014), the Court is clear that “the understanding of those who drew up the cybercrime law is that the element of ‘engaging in a business’ is necessary to constitute the illegal cybersex. The Act actually seeks to punish cyber prostitution, whiteslave trade and pornography for favor and consideration. This includes interactive prostitution and pornography, i.e., by webcam.” Therefore, based from this, when two consenting adults (most likely lovers), perform such acts online at their private abode, then the same is not punishable provided that there is no consideration for such.