child abuse in the Philippines

PLDT reports blocking more than 10,000 links to online child abuse materials

Gelo Gonzales

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PLDT reports blocking more than 10,000 links to online child abuse materials

CHILD ABUSE. PLDT continues private sector initiative against child porn and child trafficking


PLDT calls it its 'biggest haul yet,' and credits partnership with UK-based Internet Watch Foundation for being able to speed up the campaign

PLDT on Friday, June 18, reported blocking more than 10,000 links to online child abuse materials, including 4,500 URLs and domains tied to online sex abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).

PLDT said it is able to accomplish what it called its “biggest haul yet” thanks in part to its partnership with UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which began in April this year.

The IWF is a non-profit which has an expansive database of online sources of child abuse materials, gathered from their public reporting portals, in-house analysts, and partner law enforcement and government agencies. The non-profit then works with global partners, including PLDT and Smart, which are the first organizations in the Philippines to be an IWF partner. Tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google are IWF partners as well.

PLDT said that the information that IWF provides helps them block illicit content “on the more difficult content level.”

“With this capability, PLDT and Smart can prevent customers from accessing identified child abuse files even those that have been uploaded on legitimate domains without cutting access to the entire website,” PLDT said in its press statement.

In total, the company reported having cut access to more than 13,000 URLs and domains hosting the illicit materials.

The company said that British intelligence also confirmed with them that the majority of patrons of online child abuse materials are from developed nations in the Americas and Europe.

Angel Redoble, chief information security officer at PLDT and Smart, said they also monitor bandwidth traffic to identify potential livestreaming hotspots. “When a particular IP address sees a sudden spike in bandwidth use, PLDT and Smart can notify law enforcement agencies so they can investigate further as this could be related to OSAEC. Livestreaming often sees a sudden rush of data traffic,” Redoble added. –

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.