Globe welcomes the government's recent attention to put a stop to online child pornography. No less than Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has taken the cudgels to compel internet service providers (ISPs) like Globe to stand against this criminal activity.
Globe revealed that since the passage of Republic Act 9775 which took effect in 2009, the telco has been actively supporting government efforts to combat online child pornography. The law mandates all ISPs to install available technology, program, or software to ensure that access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered. As a matter of fact, Globe was able to block a total of 2,521 sites that have been identified by law enforcement agencies, endorsed by the National Telecommunications Commission for blocking or identified through our own Security Operations Center intelligence.
To comply with the law, Globe earlier invested in a content-filtering system, costing the company USD 2.7 million to support its “PlayItRight” advocacy program, targeting illegal/pirated content and online child pornography.
"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", said Anton Bonifacio, Globe Chief Information Security Officer.
"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," adds Bonifacio.
These illegal sites are generally not inside or hosted in the ISP's servers, just as much as Facebook, YouTube, or Google isn't. They are usually hosted in the cloud, or off-shore servers, and fully encrypted, which limits the effectiveness of our content-based filters. According to studies, over 80% of the Internet is now served through HTTPs or use SSL encryption.
"In effect, we actually have a very limited view of the content unless we break the encryption, which would be difficult to do without being intrusive to our customer's devices", said Bonifacio.
In addition, these illicit activities use various popular social media platforms to make their content readily accessible. These are easily accessible and shareable to others, and impossible to block without blocking the entire platform completely. The only way to curb this content at these types of platforms is for the government to also pressure social media platforms or content providers to stop delivering this type of content to consumers.
Child pornography is a reprehensible crime that should rightfully be curtailed. Globe continues to work with the relevant government agencies including the DICT, DOJ, and industry partners like the PCTO and UNICEF to do all it can to help protect children from falling victims to this crime.