PLDT blocks over 3,000 sites

Published January 13, 2021, 9:42 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

PLDT Inc. and wireless unit, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) took down 3,011 sites that host illicit content featuring children, in compliance with National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) orders.

The PLDT Group upholds protection from online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) during the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, the PLDT Group is also building up the capacity of its network-based child protection platform and testing additional technologies to allow automatic blocking of end-user access to OSAEC, or child pornographic content.

“When users try to open these malicious materials on our network blacklist, our child protection platform will automatically redirect them to a landing page saying the files violate the country’s Anti-Child Pornography Law,” explained Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer of ePLDT Group, PLDT Group, and Smart Communications.

The PLDT Group is also expanding its intelligence sources on domains with identified OSAEC content.

Earlier, the telco applied for membership to UK-based international non-profit organization Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

The IWF is dedicated to eliminating online child sexual abuse content and once PLDT becomes a member, it will gain access to a database of web pages linked to child sexual abuse.


“As we strongly condemn the continuing abuse on our children online, this membership underscores our network-level investment on a more advanced child protection platform,” Redoble added.

“This also seals our commitment to the global cooperation and resolve against OSAEC. With the completion of this IWF membership in the first quarter of 2021, we look forward to contributing more to multi-sectoral efforts to end this crime against our children.”

In support of regulatory compliance and network technology investments, the PLDT Group has also been collaborating with children’s rights champions and like-minded organizations for a holistic approach towards child protection.

As a result of its partnership with UNICEF, the telco group has since rolled out its own Child Safeguarding Policy to protect children in the workplace, marketplace and communities.

Amid the shift to blended learning and the heightened Internet exposure among children during the COVID-19 pandemic, Smart likewise worked with UNICEF, the Department of Education, and the National Privacy Commission in rolling out its CyberSmart: Cybersecurity Beyond Digital learning series in 2020.

This provided students with valuable information on how to safeguard their digital life.

Finally, the PLDT Group supports the position of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators (PCTO) in urging Congress to reconcile conflicting laws that impact ISP compliance and hamper anti-child pornography efforts.

 
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