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ISPs urged to take action against child porn

February 28, 2005 · 

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by Lawrence Casiraya, CW Reporter-ITnetcentral

A NON-GOVERNMENT organization is urging local Internet service providers (ISPs) to be more pro-active in combating child pornography over the Internet through the use of a software developed in the United Kingdom.

This software, developed by UK communications giant British Telecom as part of a project called Cleanfeed, prevents subscribers from accessing child pornography sites predetermined by the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation.

According to Internet reports, British Telecom test-piloted the system as early as July last year and was able to prevent some 2.7 million subscribers from accessing thousands of child porn Websites, mostly pay-per-view sites.

Father Shay Cullen of the Olongapo-based People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance (PREDA) group said in an interview with Computerworld Philippines that the software can be had free of charge.

Fr. Cullen is lobbying before local ISPs to install the software in their servers so that local subscribers will likewise be prevented from
accessing these Websites.

“We are seeking an audience with the Philippine Internet Services Organization (PISO, the local association of ISPs) but they have yet to issue a reply to us,” he said.

According to statistics presented by Fr. Cullen during a recent CIO forum conducted by Microsoft Philippines, there are more than 100,000 child pornography Websites, which earns some $3 billion every year from viewing fees that are paid through credit cards.

LOCAL CASES
In a joint study by the University of the Philippines and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that was presented last year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported 13 cases of child pornography for 2003.

“But the number of unreported cases is definitely higher than that,” Fr. Cullen pointed out.

During the forum, the Olongapo-based priest sought the help of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) in enforcing anti-child pornography measures for ISPs, such as installing the necessary filtering software.

“If there is a regulation that would mandate ISPs to use this software by British Telecom, we are willing to monitor Websites that can be added to the existing database,” Fr. Cullen volunteered.

http://www.itnetcentral.com/computerworld/default.asp

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