Watch out: Is there a hidden videocam?
Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco (The Philippine Star) - August 16, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Over the past few days, one of the hottest topics that has snagged the keen interest of Filipinos is the “sex video” of Chito Miranda, lead singer of Parokya ni Edgar, and actress Neri Naig, a runner-up in the 2004 Star Circle Quest.

Social networking sites became active in the posting, deleting, re-posting and re-deleting of the said video. Web search engines have been busy receiving and re-sending the hot item. The curious public has feasted on the salacious video on YouTube. People either blame them or pity them.

Miranda says that the hard drive containing the video he and his girlfriend recorded solely for their private purposes was stolen. We should give him the benefit of the doubt. From the sad experiences of Miranda and Naig, those similarly inclined should at least learn a lesson or two so this will not happen again, whether to celebrities or to ordinary beings like us.

Chief forensic examiner of the NBI Cybercrime Division Joey Narciso, who granted this writer an exclusive interview, gives the following pointers:

1.  Do not record your sexual acts! Always remember that there is ever present the possibility that third parties can get hold of the file and destroy you, either for the heck of it or for extortion. Bear in mind that digital copies of sex videos can be easily reproduced and distributed. Your relationship with your present partner may turn sour and the time may even come when your partner will use it against you. A recorded sexual act or lewd photo that falls into wrong hands or remains with a jilted lover can haunt you for the rest of your life.

2.  If you really must record your sexcapades, make sure you secure the digital copy or image by encryption. Encryption entails simply putting a password to a file so that without such password, others cannot gain access to your file.

3.  If the deed is done, i.e., you have already recorded a compromising video, and you decide to delete the same, make sure that you reformat the flashdrive, the memory card or the hard disc drive. You have to make sure that the file is absolutely and completely erased.

4.  In addition to number three, do not forget to find out if there are other people who are in possession of the same or who have had access to your computer system. This is to ensure that other copies do not exist.  If you have such incriminating stuff in your computer, never let anybody else, most especially your drinking buddies, have access to it.

5.  If like Miranda, you have become a victim of theft or robbery, the first thing you have to do is to report the incident to the security of your village or condominium so that an immediate investigation is conducted. All condominiums now have CCTVs. Village Security Offices should be able to pinpoint the particulars (identities, date and time) of visits by non-residents. Get their help at the earliest possible time.

6.  Call the police for immediate crime scene investigation! Time is of the essence for gathering of fingerprints and other evidence. File a police report.

7.  Go to the NBI, file a complaint and seek NBI cybercrime expertise.  Narciso has a way (yes, he has!) of finding out who first uploaded a photo or video on cyberspace. There is always an officer-in-charge at the NBI during office hours.

Narciso reminds us that under RA No. 9995, also known as the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009, any one who copies, reproduces, sells, distributes, publishes, broadcasts, shares, shows and/or exhibits photos or video coverage or recordings of persons performing any sexual act or any similar activity without the latter’s consent, whether it be an original or reproduction thereof, through VCD/DVD, Internet, cellular phones and other similar means or device, may be punished with three to seven years imprisonment and/or ordered to pay a fine of not less than P100,000 and not more than P500, 000.

Recording, copying or sharing private sex photos and videos (even on Facebook or by e-mail), without the consent of the people in the photos or videos, is simply not worth the risk of suffering the appropriate penalty.

(E-mail the author at or text 0927-5000833.)

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