DICT urges telcos to comply with laws vs child pornography, online sexual abuse

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2021 03:43 PM

DICT urges telcos to comply with laws vs child pornography, online sexual abuse 1
A teacher uses a prepaid pocket WiFi provided by the LGU during the opening of the school year on Oct. 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File


MANILA - Telecommunication firms and internet service providers should comply with laws against online child sexual exploitation, the country's technology watchdog said Friday, after reports of online abuse rose during the pandemic.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier directed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to sanction telcos and providers for failure to comply with the country's Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

Online sexual exploitation reports rose to 47,937 in 2020 from 19,000 in 2019, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said.

In a statement, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said it is working with the NTC in monitoring compliance of telcos and ISPs.

The law mandates all internet service providers to inform the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of any form of child pornography committed using its facilities within 7 days upon obtaining evidence, the agency said.

Internet providers are also required to install any available technology, program or software meant to block access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography, the DICT said.

“The DICT takes the matter of online child sexual exploitation very seriously. We are closely coordinating with the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) in exploring measures to prevent this and ensure compliance of telcos and ISPs with the provisions of the law,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan said in a statement.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian earlier raised the alarm over an alleged "Christmas sale" of students' "sensual" photos online.

The Department of Education, meanwhile, said parents have the option to choose modules, television and radio for their children's distance learning participation instead of gadgets and internet connection.

The Philippines implemented blended learning as it barred physical classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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