Preda Deutsch Website

ISPs not doing enough to curb child porn — research center

April 8, 2005 · 

Share

Inquirer News Service
April 06, 2005

LOCAL Internet service providers or ISPs can a play a crucial role in curbing child pornography in the Philippines, but they proved “uncooperative” when approached by a research center commissioned by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) to write a book on this tech-savvy crime.

“We were so frustrated with ISPs. They were uncooperative and they did not want to talk with us; not a single interview was granted,” recalled Dr. Elizabeth Protacio-De Castro of the Center for Integrative and Development Studies of the University of the Philippines.

“What message are they sending us?” De Castro said, adding that the companies could have offered “suggestions” on how law enforcers can trace and apprehend cyber-porn sites that use minors.

The UP professor made the remarks at yesterday’s launch of the book “Child Pornography in the Philippines” at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

The affair was graced by Unicef executive director Carol Bellamy and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.

De Castro heads the UP-CIDS’ Psychological Trauma and Human Rights Program which the Unicef commissioned last year to write the book, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

According to the book, there is “extensive evidence that child pornography is occurring in the Philippines as a result of both foreign and domestic perpetrators seeking to exploit poor and vulnerable families and children.”

One of its “most worrisome findings” is that the Internet serves as “link between local producers and networks of pornographers operating overseas.”

But despite this alarming trend, Arnie Trinidad, the CIDS researcher who authored the book, said none of the eight ISP companies he approached between April and September last year granted his request for interviews.

“They either claimed to have no time or that (the subject) is not their purview,” he told the Inquirer.

“They could have given us suggestions on how to (go after) the websites that put out child pornography,” said De Castro, who stressed that these companies should be governed by a “self-regulating mechanism” for this purpose.

Both De Castro and Trinidad surmised that the ISPs were reluctant because they were simply “protecting their business.”

All speakers during the launch underscored how technology — including digital camera cell phones — had made child porn one of the most elusive criminal operations in the world today.

De Castro said the trade had become so sophisticated that one modus operandi in Metro Manila involved simply sending a nude child’s digital photo “via cell phone” to a customer “in exchange for P100 load.” It’s either the minor herself or a pimp who would take and peddle the photo, she said.

Bellamy said that apart from legislators and law enforcers, the private sector should get more involved in the war against child porn. She made special mention of ISPs as well as travel agencies, the latter in relation to the so-called sex tours.

On Monday, the Unicef official told lawmakers attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly in Manila how child trafficking had grown into a global, $10-billion industry, rivaling the trade in illicit drugs and firearms.

By Volt Contreras

Share

Copyright © 2017 · Preda Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved