TO CONTINUE combating online child exploitation, telecommunication company PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), have strengthened their capabilities to block materials and domains linked to online child abuse.
With children spending more time on the web due to online learning, the PLDT Group, through its Cyber Security Operations Group, shut down 3,020 domains linked to online child abuse.
“Child pornography is a growing problem and it needs a whole nation approach. This cannot be done by a telco alone, by law enforcement but it also involves especially the agencies that are concerned with children,” Angel Redoble, first vice president and chief information security officer of PLDT Group and ePLDT Group and Smart, said.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, the PLDT Group will participate in the worldwide “Safe Internet Day: Together for a Better Internet,” focusing on protecting not only the company’s assets but also the assets of enterprise customers, individual and home subscribers and all the children that are connected and using the network.
“We are protecting them from threats, not only against hackers but also individuals who are victimizing children,” he said.
PLDT and Smart have already developed a platform that will automatically block access to child porn materials.
Together with the Philippine Chamber of Telco Operators, the group also engaged the government in resolving conflicting laws that hamper anti-child porn efforts.
It works with local and international authorities as well as like-minded individuals and organizations in shutting down pages that host illicit content.
PLDT and Smart were the pioneer corporate entities in the Philippines to include child-centered policies in their business operations and to partner with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to embrace a culture that protects children’s rights in business. It also continues to partner and engage with the International Justice Mission (IJM), Kids for Kids PH, among others, with the intent of developing programs to directly engage customers and stakeholders.
Meanwhile, a study released by the Washington-based IJM in May 2020 revealed that the Philippines emerged as the global hotspot for online child sexual exploitation.
“The global shutdown with the Covid-19 pandemic seems to only be increasing these phenomena,” said US State Department official John Richmond, who oversees US efforts to combat human trafficking, in a report.
The wide use of English and availability of internet connections helped make the country a “global hotspot,” the report said. (JOB)