Internet providers told: Explain failure to block child porn

    476

    THE National Telecommunications Commission has issued show-cause orders to 47 Internet service providers (ISPs) for their alleged failure to block child porn materials, a ranking official of the Department of Justice said yesterday.

    Among those issued show-cause orders were telecom giants PLDT, Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom, Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc., Bayan Telecommunications, Innove Communications, Sky Cable Corporation, Inc., Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., and Philippine Telegraph &Telephone Corporation.

    DOJ Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said under Republic Act 9975 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, ISPs are mandated to inform law enforcement agencies if they discover any child porn materials running through their servers.

    Aglipay-Villar said Section 9 of RA 9975 specifically mandated the ISPs to notify the PNP or the National Bureau of Investigation within seven days upon the discovery of child porn materials and to preserve evidence for purposes of investigation and prosecution.

    They are also mandated to install technology to intercept or block access to child pornographic materials.

    Aglipay-Villar said some of the ISPs have failed to install technology needed to block web pages promoting or showing such photos and videos.

    President Duterte recently approved the guidelines set forth by the DOJ recommending the imposition of sanctions against erring ISPs.

    Aside from sanctions, Aglipay-Villar said an executive order to strengthen cooperation between the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP) and other relevant agencies is being discussed by the technical working group.

    Last year, a study conducted by the Washington-based International Justice Mission identified the Philippines as a global hotspot for online child sexual exploitation and the economic hardship posed by the lockdown due to the COVID pandemic may further aggravate the problem.

    In February last year, the United Nations Children’s Fund also said the Philippines is one of the top global sources of child sexual abuse materials with 600, 000 photos of “sexualized” Filipino children bartered online in 2018 and 2019 alone.