Cynical internet providers complicit in child abuse through inaction

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The live broadcast of child sexual abuse and the proliferation of material and images that lead to child sexual abuse and rape has grown dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. Although arrivals of international pedophile tourists have declined in the Philippines, there are still resident foreign pedophiles who abuse children.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the leading charity that tracks pedophiles online and monitors and shuts down child abuse websites, has reported that there have been 8.8 million attempted abusers child sex in the UK to access these sites during the lockdown in 2020 and this year.

Pedophiles use their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to access and share abusive child sexual abuse videos and images online, and to order sex acts online where children are abused on command. It is shocking and astonishing and that figure of 8.8 million comes from the UK alone.

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The trafficking of child pornography through ISPs reaches hundreds, if not thousands of millions worldwide. The IWF is one of the few effective organizations fighting against abusers and trying to reduce the number of abuses. Yet they can’t stop everything, and millions more around the world are surely receiving child abuse material through ISPs.

“Anyone who provides Internet services should do everything possible to keep the users of their network safe and secure. Of course, the internet does not respect borders, so it is essential that businesses grow stronger as well, ”said Susie Hardgrave, IWF Managing Director.

She called on ISPs around the world to get involved and do their moral and legal duty in blocking the proliferation of child sexual abuse images. Currently, ISPs depend on the IWF to do the work for them and the IWF finds and shares with ISPs abusive websites and images they find and advises ISPs to remove and delete them. block them. But it is above all the duty of the ISPs themselves.

Their own children may be victims of child pornography or be influenced or treated online

The IWF cannot control the whole world, but it is leading the way. To what extent should the ordinary subscriber be responsible for subscribing to an ISP that does not block or screen child pornography and should not hold their ISP to account?

Their own children may be victims of child pornography or be influenced or treated online. Since each ISP is connected to all the other ISPs, they have the overall responsibility of working together to install blocking software. This will make it very difficult for pedophiles and child molesters to peddle, view and share abusive material.

In most countries around the world, ISPs claim that they are not responsible for what their customers and users post. They deny being responsible for offensive and abusive material. Some ISPs claim they are deploying web browsing software and, according to the IWF, 155 ISPs have chosen to deploy Microsoft DNA software. But hundreds of thousands of ISPs around the world do little or nothing to block child pornography content that passes through their servers.

Given that Western countries recently agreed to pass laws to subject multinational corporations to at least 15% tax payments around the world, why can’t they just force ISPs to use email blocking software? better and more efficient artificial intelligence to protect children? We must continue to expose the evil of child abuse online to pressure governments and businesses to take dedicated and coordinated action to pass and implement strong laws to protect children online by requiring ISPs to install blocking software.

The solution, they say, is very complicated, but the truth is actually simple. Most ISPs have chosen not to deploy software to identify, track and block terrible crimes against children. They want to make more money.

They find refuge and protection behind section 9 of the American law known as the Decency Communications Act. He says ISPs should not be held responsible for what is posted or goes through their servers. They should be held accountable by law and duty to protect vulnerable children from sexual exploitation and abuse, but for them money comes first and trumps this urgent moral duty.

The public should be aware that this transmission of child abuse images and live streaming of abuse videos are ongoing and licensed by the same ISPs they pay a fee to connect them to the internet. Their computers and laptops use ISPs which allow abuse. We all need to stand up and say they need to protect children and force lawmakers to pass such laws.

In the Philippines, such a blocking service is not provided by ISPs although since 2009 the law says they must. After a long campaign by the Preda Foundation since 2009, PLDT / Smart recently entered the IWF list of recently discovered abusive websites and claims to have blocked 10,000 of them. This is just a drop in the ocean millions of sites and images of child abuse passing through their servers. Globe, Converge and Dito and other Filipino ISPs have not said whether they will obey the law.

It would be a huge service to the hundreds of thousands of abused children raped every hour around the world.

The law requires Filipino ISPs to obey the 2009 law (RA 9775) and install blocking software like Microsoft PhotoDNA and VideoDNA or other web crawlers to detect and block images of child sexual abuse . A revised version of RA 9775 is in the works and we can assume that there is fierce pressure and lobbying behind the scenes to water down the provisions of the revised law.

At least one congressman has made public the suggestion that the blocking provision should be removed altogether. The influence of the ISPs in promoting its political ambitions has yet to be revealed.

However, Senator Hontiveros and other dedicated principled senators are totally determined to reverse such attempts and will pass a stricter law significantly increasing the requirement to install the software and increasing the fines for ISPs who fail to comply. not. They can suspend their licenses and franchises. It would be of immense service to the hundreds of thousands of abused children raped every hour around the world. It must be stopped and we must campaign to make it happen.

Father Shay Cullen is an Irish missionary priest of the Missionary Society of St. Columban who has worked in the Philippines since 1969. In 1974 he founded the Preda Foundation, an active charitable organization dedicated to protecting the rights of women and children and to the campaign for freedom from sexual slavery and human trafficking.


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