NTC issues show-cause orders on erring ISPs

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    The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has issued show -cause orders against internet service providers (ISPs) for failure to install software that will block access or filter all websites carrying child pornography materials.

    The telecom regulator said the ISPs were required to explain in writing why they should not be administratively sanctioned for such violation. The ISPs were also required to attend hearings before the commission starting the second week of February.

    The NTC did not disclose the ISPs.

    ISPs’ failure to install software that will block illicit websites is a violation of Republic Act 9775 that mandates all ISPs to install available technology, program or software to ensure that access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered.

    The NTC was also mandated by President Duterte and the Cabinet to impose sanctions on ISPs for their suspected failure to stop the proliferation of child pornography, as reports showed an increase in child online sexual exploitation during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

    At present, the country has more than 500 ISPs nationwide.

    Meanwhile, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. are working closely with the government to block website child pornography.

    PLDT and its mobile unit Smart Communications Inc. said they have blocked more than 3,000 domains linked to online abuse of children as mandated by the National Privacy Commission.

    Globe said it has blocked a total of 2,521 websites that were identified by law enforcement agencies and endorsed by NTC for blocking. – M. Iglesias