PLDT-Smart blocks over 3,000 child porn sites during pandemic

PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have so far blocked 3,011 websites that feature content that is considered online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) during the pandemic. This is in compliance with the mandate set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that aims to fortify protection for minors against possible abuse.

“When users try to open these malicious materials that are on out 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 Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer of ePLDT Group, PLDT Group, and Smart Communications.

The PLDT Group is further building up the capacity of its network-based child protection platform. It is also currently testing additional technologies that would allow automatic blocking of end-user access to OSAEC or child pornographic content.

The group is even expanding its intelligence sources on domains with identified OSAEC content. It has earlier embarked on seeking membership to UK-based international non-profit organization Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) dedicated to eliminating online child abuse content. Upon completion of the IWF membership in the first quarter of 2021, the telco group will have access to a rich database of web pages linked to child sexual abuse.

Moreover, the PLDT Group has been actively collaborating and seeking guidance from various children’s rights champions and like-minded organizations for a holistic approach towards child protection. The telco group has since rolled out its own Child Safeguarding Policy that further drives its child online protection thrust and guides its impact on children in the context of the workplace, marketplace, and communities.

It also backs the position of the Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operations (PCTO) in urging Congress to reconcile conflicting laws that affect ISP compliance and hamper anti-child pornography efforts.