PLDT, Smart block over 224K URLs linked to online child abuse

Through the intensified capability of their leading cybersecurity solutions and Child Protection Platform, PLDT and Smart have blocked over one billion user attempts to access online child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) since November 2021. The group has also blocked more than 224,000 CSAM URLs or web addresses, as of end-March 2022.

“In support of our continuing commitment to child protection and to the global fight against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC), these milestone figures manifest our expanded capacity to both block illicit URLs and prevent end-user attempts to access CSAM,” said Angel Redoble, chief information security adviser, PLDT.

Amid the global rise in cybercrimes and cases of OSAEC, PLDT and Smart earlier invested about P2 billion into a beefed-up cybersecurity operations center and a dedicated Child Protection Platform that allows the group to continuously detect, predict, respond, and prevent access to CSAM, while ensuring full compliance with customer data protection and privacy laws.

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Cybersecurity technologies

According to Redoble, these in-house solutions optimize cybersecurity technologies and utilize dynamic intelligence data gathered from PLDT and Smart’s alliances with entities like the Internet Watch Foundation and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

“Seeing such significant results, we are all the more encouraged to constantly keep abreast with global best practices and forge more alliances to further enhance our infrastructure for customer safety and solutions for child protection,” said Redoble.

As part of the group’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments, PLDT and Smart implement a pioneering Child Safeguarding Policy that embeds child rights and safety considerations into group-wide programs, practices, and technology solutions.