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PLDT-Smart shuts down over 3,000 sites carrying child sexual abuse content

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 13, 2021 4:13 am

PLDT Inc., along with its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc., has shut down 3,011 sites for having online child pornography, a growing menace that has also caught the attention of Malacañang.

The PLDT group said that they are also strengthening their platform to automatically block access to sites having content related to the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).

“When users try to open these malicious materials that are on our network blacklist, our child protection platform will automatically redirect them to a landing page that informs them that the files they’re trying to access violate the country’s Anti-Child Pornography Law,” said PLDT group chief information and security officer Angel Redoble in a statement.

PLDT said they are also aiming to be a member of the UK-based non-profit Internet Watch Foundation to gain acces to a rich database of web pages linked to child sexual abuse. In addition, PLDT said they are also working with UNICEF for their child safeguarding policy, as well as with the Department of Education (DepED) and the National Privacy Commission to roll out a learning series that will teach youngsters how to safeguard their digital life.

The issue of online child pornography has long been a scourge in the country.

In a press briefing yesterday Jan. 12, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles said that “suspicious transaction reports” related to OSAEC has more than doubled to 47,937 last year from 2019. Nograles, as reported by the PNA, said that the increase “has caught the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte.”

To combat the problem, Nograles said that the National Telecommunications Commission has been ordered to impose sanctions on internet service providers that permit the use of online child exploitation.