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Eastern Communications teams up with IWF in fight vs online child sexual abuse

Telecommunications firm Eastern Communications teams up with global non-profit organization Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to prevent online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC).

UK-based IWF is is the global charity responsible for finding and removing videos and images of child sexual abuse from the internet. Dedicated to making the online environment safe for children, Eastern Communications was recently announced as a member of IWF, alongside global companies such as Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Tiktok, among others.

This step from the telco also follows the order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) which instructs Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access and filter websites that contain child sexual abuse.

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According to a report from the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in the Philippines, cases involving the online sexual exploitation of children spiked to 1.2 million in 2020, three times higher than reports received in 2019.

Joint initiative

“We have witnessed how usage of the internet really has increased especially during this pandemic, and it is imperative for telecommunications companies like us to help mitigate content on child sexual abuse online,” Atty. Aileen Regio, co-coordinator, Eastern Communications. “As more Filipino families gain access to the internet, we aim to make a digital space that is safe for children and free from online sexual predators and exploitation.”

Under this joint initiative, Eastern Communications will be getting access to IWF’s master list of URLs and webpages promoting online child sexual abuse for easier blocking in their network.

A spokesperson for the IWF said: “Working together is the key to making sure criminals who would profit from the rape and sexual abuse of children have nowhere they can perpetrate their crimes. By working with industry partners, we make the internet a stronger, safer place, and we take a further step to create a world where anyone can go online safely.”