UPDATE: The Warrior Lawyer has some insight on the legalities of the issue at hand.
Shocking news yesterday, as Mark Verzo, the guy behind the infamous Boy Bastos series of websites was apprehended by authorities under the charge of potential human trafficking (i.e. prostitution).
In a statement, Verzo said:
“Hindi pa po ito katapusan ng boy bastos. Hanggang walang batas na nagsasabi kung ano ang pwede at hindi pwede gawin, buhay na buhay po ang ating munting site (This isn’t the end for us. So long as there is no law that says what can and cannot be done, our little site will still be alive),” he added.
Ang boy bastos ay simbulo ng lalakeng Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay mga boy bastos. Ang mga boy bastos ay hindi mamamatay tao, hindi rin nagbebenta ng bawal na gamot, pawang malilibog na tao lamang … sino ba ang hindi (Boy bastos is a symbol of the Filipino male. We are all boy bastos. But we are not killers or drug pushers. We are just sex addicts. Who isn’t)?” he said. [GMA News]
I’ve met Mark once before as he did a short consulting project with the company I used to work for. Nope, he’s not a drug trafficker or serial killer. All he did was place advertising onto his site which are the source of the “links that can lead to escort services or prostitution.” If this were the case, then any blog or website that displays “sexy ads” – even by accident, can be charged when a law in instated? (think of SexyMom’s blog, which is by far, very decent — but on the other hand AdSense doesn’t work with such questionable sites). Ethically speaking, I’m all for “cleaning up the Internet” but this was indeed shocking news in the direction of the development of Philippine Internet Laws which by far is close to a piece of crap.
I do believe Mark will be let go. I do however wonder if this is the start of the head turning of authorities towards the Philippine Internet. Could it be that Loren Legarda eyed Boy Bastos because of the domain registry information?
The moral of the story is: don’t do pron.