The Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) of PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) has blocked more than 522,000 URLs that show child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), as of November 2022.
“Our pioneering Child Protection Platform has allowed us to block CSAM online on the more difficult content level. By the end of November, we have prevented more than 1.3 billion attempts to open child abuse content,” said Angel Redoble, FVP and chief information security officer of PLDT and Smart
The PLDT Group’s membership into the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s Project Arachnid has played a significant role in boosting the reach of its Child Protection Platform. PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) regularly receives hashes pertaining to CSAM from the two organizations that the telcos immediately block.
PLDT and Smart also reiterated their support to the government in the fight against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC). Recognizing that children are among the companies’ active end-users, PLDT and Smart have embedded child safety into their customer experience, and cybersecurity innovations strategy and solutions.
“We have adopted the Children’s Rights and Business Principles framework and enacted a Child Safeguarding Policy that now guides us in applying a child rights lens into our policies, technology solutions, and shared value partnerships, from inside our organization, and outwards, to the communities where we operate,” said Melissa Vergel De Dios, chief sustainability officer and head of Investor Relations at PLDT and Smart.
The companies actively participated in strengthening Republic Act No. 11930 or the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act that was passed into law this year. The Group particularly pushed for the inclusion of the “Good Samaritan” clause that would empower internet service providers (ISP) to immediately take down offensive materials without being held civilly, criminally or administratively liable.
Together with the International Justice Mission, PLDT and Smart have been collaborating with the Justice Department’s Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking which includes the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (PNP WCPC) to strengthen technology and capacity of law enforcement to end OSAEC and prosecute perpetrators.