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Philippines' Duterte seeks to punish telcos over rampant child porn


Xinhua
12 Jan 2021

MANILA, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to impose sanctions on internet service providers (ISPs) for failing to stop online child pornography amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official said on Tuesday.

In an online media briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Duterte issued the order during a cabinet meeting on Monday following reports that child pornography cases in the Philippines "ballooned" in 2020 as the country battled the pandemic.

"Various reports that reveal a surge in child pornography have caught the president's attention," Nograles said, adding that the number "is disturbing."

"Suspicious transaction reports related to online sexual exploitation during the pandemic more than doubled," Nograles said.

He said the number of cases has "ballooned" to 47,937 in 2020 from 19,000 in 2019.

"It has been discovered that the pandemic has contributed to, or even been used and taken advantage of, as we see the disturbing rise of online sexual exploitation cases in the country. The victims of which have a median age of only 11 years old," he said.

Nograles said the reports prompted Duterte to ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to come up with actions to stop the online sexual exploitation of minors.

One of the DOJ recommendations is directing the NTC to penalize ISPs for failing to fulfill their duties under the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, he said.

The law mandates the ISPs to notify the Philippine National Police or the National Bureau of Investigation that their servers or facilities are being used for child pornography.

The law further mandates the ISPs to furnish particulars of users involved in child pornography and install available technology to intercept or block access to child pornography.

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