MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Eastern Communications, one of the premier telecommunications companies in the Philippines, teams up with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a global non-profit organization based in the UK that focuses on fighting child sexual abuse and exploitation in the digital space.
Dedicated to making the online environment safe for children, Eastern Communications was recently announced as a member of IWF, alongside global companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, Tiktok, and more.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the global charity responsible for finding and removing videos and images of child sexual abuse from the internet.
This step from the telco also follows the order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) which instructs Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access and filter websites that contain child sexual abuse.
According to a report from the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in the Philippines, cases involving online sexual exploitation of children spiked to 1.2 million in 2020, three times higher than reports received in 2019.
“We have witnessed how usage of the internet really has increased especially during this pandemic, and it is imperative for telecommunications companies like us to help mitigate content on child sexual abuse online. As more Filipino families gain access to the internet, we aim to make a digital space that is safe for children and free from online sexual predators and exploitation,” shared Eastern Communications Co-Coordinator Atty. Aileen Regio.
Under this joint initiative, Eastern Communications will be getting access to IWF’s master list of URLs and webpages promoting online child sexual abuse for easier blocking in their network.
A spokesperson for the IWF said, “Working together is the key to making sure criminals who would profit from the rape and sexual abuse of children have nowhere they can perpetrate their crimes.”
“By working with industry partners, we make the internet a stronger, safer place, and we take a further step to creating a world where anyone can go online safely.”
“We laud the IWF for helping nations eradicate unsafe online content and helping victims of abuse and exploitation. Joining the IWF in these efforts is just one of the many initiatives that Eastern Communications is planning to achieve a better and safer online space for everyone,” shared Eastern Communications Co-Coordinator Hermi Hizon.