33.2 C
Monday, April 15, 2024

Globe, Smart cite efforts to beef up cybersecurity vs kids’ online abuse

- Advertisement -

THE two largest telcos on Tuesday said they are beefing up their cybersecurity networks to fight online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).

PLDT Inc. and subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. said it invested P2 billion to develop and run a cybersecurity network as a means to fight online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom Inc. invested in a content-filtering system, costing the company $2.7 million to support its advocacy program, targeting illegal/pirated content and online child pornography.

Angel Redoble, the chief information security officer of PLDT, noted the facility is used to predict, prevent, detect, and respond to all types of cyber threats including those related to OSAEC.

“This is where we identify phishing and scamming activities. Now, this includes notifying our enterprise subscribers of attacks and high-risk activities inside their network,” Redoble said.

So far, the facility has blocked 3,020 domains that host illicit materials that feature children.

“We expanded our sources on these illegal sites so we can block as many domains as possible. We’ve been doing open-source threat intelligence gathering, purchasing available commercial threat intelligence and receiving information from our government through law enforcement agencies on which sites to block,” Smart AVP Francisco Ashley Acedillo said.

Globe filtering

Meanwhile, Globe’s filtering system was able to block a total of 2,521 sites that have been identified by law enforcement agencies, endorsed by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for blocking or identified through its own Security Operations Center intelligence.

“The filtering software can be viewed as an important first step but more needs to be done. The digital ecosystem has evolved rapidly and ISPs cannot win this battle alone,” Anton Bonifacio, Globe Chief Information Security Officer, said.

He noted that fighting OSAEC should also be a done in close collaboration with the government.

“There is a need for the lawmakers and law enforcers to address certain realities especially on how the internet works in order for ISPs to effectively help in addressing this issue,” Bonifacio pointed out.

“As a company whose business is connecting many Filipinos to the internet, Globe sees paramount importance in keeping its customers, particularly children, safe online,” said Yoly Crisanto, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications at Globe.

Through the UNICEF-led SaferKidsPH initiative, Globe said it supports the government in observing Safer Internet Day by raising awareness on pressing and emerging OSAEC cases.

PLDT’s Redoble, meanwhile, said the group is now developing new systems to target specific materials without restricting access to legitimate web sites.

“It’s a combination of technologies. We bring our customers to our child protection platform where we reference the content they’re trying to access against our database. When they’re trying to open any offensive content, they’re brought to a landing page telling them that the material violates the country’s anti-child porn laws,” Redoble explained.

The PLDT Group is joining the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to strengthen the fight against OSAEC.

“IWF will regularly update us on child abuse related materials being posted on legitimate websites. Then we’ll integrate that into our platform. We’re looking to complete our application for membership with the IWF in March. Once we have done this, we will migrate all our customers on board our child protection platform,” Redoble said.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Monday the President has approved the imposition of sanctions against ISPs in the country for their failure to comply with their obligations under Republic Act (RA) 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

The justice department has seen the need for the ISPs to assume their obligations after the DOJ-Office of Cybercrime reported a 264.63-percent increase in the number of reported online sexual exploitation of children during the 3-month quarantine period imposed by the government to contain the Covid-19 outbreak from March to May 2020.

On Tuesday, the NTC started issuing show-cause orders to telcos.

Safer Internet Day

The 18th edition of Safer Internet Day was celebrated on Tuesday (February 9) with actions taking place globally. The theme of this year’s celebration “Together for a better internet,” calls upon all stakeholders to join hands in making the internet a safer and better place for all, especially for children.

Globe cited its initiatives that not only aid in OSAEC reporting and education, but also advocate responsible online behavior and overall online wellness.

Its Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) launched in 2016, focuses on responsible digital citizenship, critical thinking, and prevention of online abuse, among others.

The DTP was recently integrated into the K-to-12 curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd), educating public and private school teachers and students on proper online behavior. Globe’s cyber wellness program has been made accessible to at least 4,101 schools, 115,394 teachers, and 1.96 million students, and present in every region in the Philippines.

Globe also recently partnered with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to promote digital responsibility and data privacy among the Filipino youth through “Kabataang Digital.” The program launched last December aims to provide age-appropriate support for children to help them understand the nature of privacy and the digital environment’s implications on their privacy rights.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -