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The fight against internet child abuse is being bolstered by a cybercrime center.

MANILA, Philippines — To aid the country’s fight against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) has created the country’s first and state-of-the-art Digital Forensics Platform and Laboratory (DFPAL) (OSAEC).

CICC Executive Director Cezar Mancao II, speaking during the DFPAL’s inauguration at the CICC office in Quezon City on Friday, said the digital laboratory is the CICC’s flagship program under the Duterte administration and will primarily be utilized to investigate and answer OSAEC cases.

He stated, “We have acquired a powerful state-of-the-art technology that will boost the success rates of investigators and policing operations in the continued pursuit of identifying, apprehending, and convicting persons and networks linked with online sexual exploitation.”

The lab will be staffed by “qualified and certified individuals” from the domains of ICT, psychology, digital forensics, data analytics, research, and communications, he said.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the Philippines received 3,188,793 cyber tip line reports in 2021, up 138.041 percent from 1,339,597 cyber tip line reports in 2020.

“In the Philippines, OSAEC is a serious and rising problem, but it does not have to be permanent. He stated, “We will do everything we can to defend Filipino children.”

During the coronavirus epidemic, he said, cases of OSAEC and other cyber crimes increased, particularly child pornography and other types of child online sexual abuse, particularly among children from low-income households.

“We have child online protection programs and activities in conjunction with many civil society organizations and numerous stakeholders to support this cause,” he explained.

DFPAL would help combat and serve as a solution to OSAEC through the use of data fusion and ‘big data AI,’ focusing on cases that “matter most,” the use of intelligent case management system, digital forensics tool, open-source intelligence, ancillary investigation tools, high-availability hybrid ICT infrastructure, and professional services, according to CICC Technical Consultant Linus Antonio in a presentation during the program.

The DFPAL framework, according to Antonio, includes OSAEC cybercrime monitoring and detection, technical help to law enforcement agencies, support to prosecution units, and OSAEC awareness campaigns and outreach initiatives.

“The CICC aspires to diminish, if not eradicate, OSAEC cases and fulfill its desire to safeguard and nurture children through the joint efforts of both local and international organizations,” he said.

The CICC is an inter-agency body established by Republic Act 10175, also known as the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012,” and was later attached to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in 2016.

The CICC is in charge of directing the Philippine government’s efforts to defend the country, its institutions, and its inhabitants against cybercrime.

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