He knows the problem is worsening, but cases of cybervoyeurism have proved to be difficult to solve. For one thing, victims — usually women — are often reluctant to come forward largely because of sheer embarrassment. And when they finally get the courage to file a complaint, says Mallari, they tend to drop it after a time for one reason or another.
The NBI officer also suspects that cell phones are the most common tools of the trade of the culprits, although he confesses that he has yet to receive a complaint where such gadgets were involved. This has made the spread and circulation of materials very easy for owners of cellular phones. Both parties denied they were the ones in the short but steamy video, but one of the most popular theories among voyeurs and showbiz gossips was that the clip had been taken by the boyfriend on his phone, which he later had repaired in a shop in Greenhills.
From there the video leaped into cyberspace. Less talked about but perhaps more scandalous is the rising number of similar videos involving students, some of whom are still wearing their uniforms in the clips.
At least one had a young woman whose school skirt identified her as still being in high school — a quite disheartening confirmation that teenagers, with their raging hormones, are indeed engaging in sex early in the Internet age. But indications are what is happening here is not the kind of video voyeurism that is common in the United States and which is often associated with stalkers who set up surveillance equipment to surreptitiously watch their victims 24 hours a day.
Apparently, many of the local peep-show clips were shot with the full knowledge of both partners. As if playing out their exhibitionist fantasies, some of the videos even have the girls gamely posing first in the nude, and then taking a shower, masturbating, or giving their partners oral sex. Some also look like they were taped in the presence of their school barkada. Or that their boyfriends or lovers were cads capable of doing an audiovisual kiss-and-tell.
Sociologist Sarah Raymundo admits that some female students have confided to her that they allowed themselves to be filmed having sex with their boyfriends. She says she is surprised that they are not bothered at all with their decision. Others have been victimized through two-way mirrors installed in some motel and hotel rooms. It recorded him voraciously kissing his girlfriend and groping her breasts. Somehow, that recording wound up in the Net. She has since said she was forced to drink liquor and then raped.
Yet another disturbing video clip has a coed, visibly intoxicated and barely conscious, being forced to give blowjobs to a group of males who appear to be her classmates. In adult mailing lists hosted by Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups , modern-day voyeurs are having a field day posting and exchanging compromising photos of women of all races captured from webcams, secretly taken using mobile phones or digicams, or scanned from girly magazines.
How to Avoid Getting Victimized by Voyeurs 1. Be suspicious of anyone using a cell phone in an awkward manner — not holding it up to the ear or facing the mouth. Ask outright what he or she is doing. If you suspect you have become a victim of video voyeurs: Alert someone in authority about your concerns.
Immediately report the incident to the local police or the following law enforcement agencies: If the video or photos were stolen from your cell phone or PC by a technician, or somebody with access to these devices, you can prosecute these people and use the files posted on the Internet as evidence.
The shared images range from the innocent-looking I. There are women either stripped to the waist or butt naked. Some are shown performing lascivious and even fetishistic acts. There are also images of women undressing in fitting rooms and peeing in public toilets, which should be fair warning to everyone that hidden cameras in these places are not just the stuff of urban legends.
But there are some voyeurs who are bolder and quite cheeky. Just recently, a female commuter at the MRT caught a man taking a sneak peek of her breasts using his cell phone.
He merely smirked when the woman gave him a stern look. He also nonchalantly showed the down-blouse picture to his male companion. But the woman loudly recounted the incident to her boyfriend on — surprise, surprise — her cell phone, embarrassing the voyeurs and alerting the other MRT riders.
She then filed a complaint with the station manager, who endorsed it, along with the photos she took of the two men, to the central station. The MRT management promised to post a notice with the photos of the two men to serve as a warning to female passengers.
Mallari could only wish there were more like-minded women. In the meantime, the NBI has managed to acquire software that Mallari says will be useful in the examination of SIM cards and mobile phones.