Philippines steps up cybercrime fight

MANILA - Philippine police on Tuesday vowed to boost efforts to fight increasing cybercrime by training more personnel to go after fraud, child pornography and other offences on the Internet.

MANILA - Philippine police on Tuesday vowed to boost efforts to fight increasing cybercrime by training more personnel to go after fraud, child pornography and other offences on the Internet.

With criminals increasingly utilising social networks, blogs, message boards and websites to look for potential prey, the national police's scope of operations now includes "the virtual world," said Director General Alan Purisima.

"We will be expanding the units of anti-cybercrime units. We will be having laboratories in different parts of the country and training more specialised personnel," he told a national meeting on cybercrime.

Mr Purisima said the police unit has arrested hundreds of individuals involved in such crimes as credit card and telecommunications fraud, healthcare card fraud, online gambling, human trafficking and child pornography.

The Philippines has been identified as a hotspot for operations of syndicates involved in the child cybersex industry, where live images of children forced to commit sex acts are streamed online for paedophiles overseas.

In January, the National Telecommunications Commission directed Internet service providers to install filters to block access to child pornography as mandated by a 2009 law.

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