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Cybersex den broken up in the Philippines

The all-male cybersex business is likely part of a larger human trafficking enterprise that recruits young people for sex on webcam.

A cybersex den was broken up by police in the Philippines on Tuesday.

The all-male cybersex "cam" business is likely part of a larger human trafficking organization that recruits young men and women for sex on web camera with paying customers.

The 3 a.m. raid saw 12 male "chatters" rescued.

Two of them were 17-years-old, while the rest were in their 20s,said Inquirer Global Nation.

Police confiscated eight laptops and two tablet computers from the scene.

The young men would chat online mainly with foreigners in the US and Australia who paid them between $50 and $100 to undertake sexual acts, said ABS CBN News.

The news outlet also reported that police found out about the business after a 16-year-old boy recruited for chatting left the job and told authorities.

It is believed the "chatters" were willing participants but are still considered victims, likely given their age and financial situation.

"Unfortunately for young kids lured into the trade, cybersex for pay is a business on the rise in the Philippines," says GlobalPost's senior correspondent for Southeast Asia, Patrick Winn. "The Philippines has the raw ingredients for cybersex rings: a large population of poor youth who speak decent enough English to chat with paying foreigners."

This recent bust took place in a province named Laguna, home to a nascent tech manufacturing sector and a rash of cybersex busts. A November raid in the province found eight women and multiple sex toys in a cybersex den, ABS-CBN reports.

Another high-profile case ended with two Swedes convicted of running a cybersex den and jailed for life.

Illegal under Philippine law, these rings of so-called "cam girls" and "cam boys" have been identified as justification for a highly controversial cybercrime law that would have given authorities sweeping powers to arrest and imprison anyone circulating lewd material online, Winn explained.

But the law was attacked by journalists and bloggers, who pointed out the law could jail anyone posting material deemed libelous on Twitter or Facebook.

Their efforts led to the Supreme Court's suspension of the law in October.

Patrick Winn contributed reporting from Bangkok. Follow him on Twitter @BKKApologist.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/philippines/130219/cybersex-den-broken-the-philippines