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DICT tells telcos, ISPs to comply with law against online child sexual exploitation

A study from the International Justice Mission says that the Philippines was the largest known source of OSAEC (online sexual abuse and exploitation of children) cases in the world while CyberTipline ranks the Asia-Pacific region as the third-largest source of “online enticement.”

Amid the spike in cases because of the lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) “reiterates the duty of telecommunications companies and internet service providers (ISPs) to comply with existing laws against online child sexual exploitation.”

For its part, the Philippines’ Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to penalize ISPs for failing to fulfill their duties under Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

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The DICT said it teamed up with NTC to continuously monitor ISPs’ compliance with the said law, which mandates all ISPs to notify the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation of any form of child pornography committed using its servers or facilities within seven days upon obtaining facts and evidence. ISPs, however, are prohibited to engage from monitoring any user, subscriber, or customer, or the content of any communication of any such person.

All ISPs are also required 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 recently issued show-cause orders to select ISPs for their non-compliance with the law and required them to provide a written justification why such a breach should not be sanctioned administratively. The ISPs will also be attending mandatory hearings before the NTC.

The DICT has recently launched its Child Online Safeguarding Policy (COSP) aimed at prescribing mechanisms and standards in order to protect and safeguard children and young people online in accordance with the implementation of Republic Act 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.