PLDT-Smart is asking lawmakers to align “conflicting provisions” on the Philippines cybersecurity and data privacy laws to strengthen the government push to end online child pornography.

PLDT-Smart AVP for cybersecurity Ace Acedillo said that local telcos and the National Telecommunication Commission have their hands tied in terms of monitoring “objectionable content” on the internet, such as child pornography, due to the provisions of the Data Privacy Act.

The RA 10173, or the Data Privacy Act, prohibits telcos from monitoring individuals’ data and information online. This makes it hard for telcos to enforce the government’s Anti-Child Pornography Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act.

In a statement, Acedillo said that the law itself prohibits them from intercepting or “mess” with data or monitor what the user is surfing.

With that, the telco executive said that there should be a harmonization of these laws. Plus, adding Good Samaritan provisions to help telcos and the NTC regulate internet pornographic content much faster.

Acedillo added that PLDT-Smart is actually working with a British intelligence agency for joint training and conduct a behavioral analysis of users’ online activities. The exec hopes to expand its partnership with more countries in the West as the demand mostly comes from these regions.

It’s said that the Philippines is one of the main sources of child pornography across the world. Hence why the Duterte admin wants to sanction telcos over this.

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Despite the laws’ contradictions, it appears that PLDT-Smart is trying what it can to help end the spread of online child pornography. Apparently, the company already blocked over 3,000 website that shows such content. They are also tracking down content on legitimate websites.

If users are trying to access certain pornographic content on some websites, PLDT-Smart’s Child Protection Platform will redirect users to a webpage that will flash a message saying that the content they are trying to access is violating the Anti-Child Pornography Act.

The chief information security officer of the PLDT group said they have a three-year spending program to help fight cyber threats like child pornography. Apparently, the company spent about 4.8 billion on it.

Acedillo added that they are adopting a three-pronged approach to help end cybercrime:

  • strengthening legislative and policy framework by gathering experts to contribute to policy-making
  • expanding the number of cybersecurity practitioners through capital building and training
  • raising awareness of the public via campaigns, webinars and other initiatives

Via: ABS-CBN News



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