NBI urges telcos to step up safeguards vs sexual exploitation of children

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2021 05:11 PM

MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation on Sunday called on telecommunications companies to ramp up online security and actively block all websites facilitating the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC).

Since the pandemic, students, minors have been engaged in OSEC even via some social media sites to sustain e-learning.

NBI Cybercrime Chief Vic Lorenzo said efforts have been relentless against consolidators, sexual predators, peddlers of sexualized, explicit photos and videos of children.

“Recently, last operation namin, napag alaman namin may nagco-consolidate ng mga photos na yan, hindi directly nage-engage (ang estudyante) may mga sexual predators, pinapasa, at yung consolidator nagfa-facilitate, nagbebenta at nagbabayad sa estudyante,” Lorenzo said.

In February 2020, at least 600,000 obscene photos and videos of Filipino children were shared and sold online, according to a report from the Child Rights Network (CRN). 

Lorenzo admitted that law enforcers face limitations, especially it comes to data privacy, but telecommunication companies and internet providers have a better chance to monitor all internet data.

“Medyo challenging dahil vast and internet pero doable siya dahil sa presence ng artificial intelligence ngayon,” he said.

As home schooling and exposure to the internet among children has increased during the pandemic, Lorenzo urged parents to monitor the daily activities of the child and limit access to websites.

“Cyber security begins at home, and magulang dapat alam tell tale signs, kung malaman na engage sa OSEC ang bata, ine-encourage namin na makipag-uganayan sa amin,” he urged.

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