PLDT, Smart expand online child safety alliances, link up with Canada’s C3P

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Mindful of the escalating cybercrimes and the risks that children are exposed to in the digital world, PLDT Inc. (PLDT), the Philippines’ largest fully integrated telecommunications company and its wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) widen their scope in fostering a safer digital environment for children with their newly formed alliance with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P). 

As of end November this year, PLDT and Smart have already blocked a record of over 127,000 URLs linked to child sexual abuse materials (CSAM).

“We are keen to optimize this alliance with the C3P to further boost our Child Protection Platform and augment our capability to continuously weed out and prevent access to CSAM within our network,” said PLDT First Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer Angel Redoble. 

Based in Winnipeg, Canada, C3P is a national charity unit that advocates for children’s safety and works to prevent the proliferation of CSAM on the Internet. Its renowned solution, Project Arachnid, detects and processes tip line reports on CSAM and serves as an intelligence resource for electronic service providers to remove harmful and abusive sites from the web.

“Child sexual abuse material is a borderless epidemic that demands a collaborative, global response. By helping reduce access in their country to images and videos of children being sexually assaulted, PLDT and Smart are strengthening online efforts to reduce child victimization and safeguard children,” said C3P Director of IT Lloyd Richardson.

With this C3P partnership, PLDT and Smart gain access to a customized blocking list of URLs to intensify their domain and content-level blocking of CSAM. “When customers try to access any of these URLs that are in the list, they will be directed to a page telling them that the content violates Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Law,” explained Redoble. 

Parallel to this alliance with the C3P, PLDT and Smart are also working with UNICEF, the International Justice Mission, and the Internet Watch Foundation on various initiatives and industry solutions that enable children’s rights and combat online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. 

These align with PLDT and Smart’s pioneering Child Safeguarding Policy that institutionalizes the implementation of child safety practices and solutions in their offline and online business operations. These also underscore their commitment in helping the Philippines attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UNSDG #16 which stands against abuses, exploitation, trafficking, and violence against children.