PLDT and Smart’s CISO calls for a ‘Global Chain of Trust’ to fight online child abuse

PLDT and Smart’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Angel T. Redoble is urging internet service providers and other stakeholders to join forces and create a “Global Chain of Trust” (GCT) to ensure a clean and safe cyberspace for all users and prevent the spread of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (CSAEM) online.

Redoble made this appeal during a roundtable discussion with international stakeholders organized by WeProtect Global Alliance, a global movement dedicated to ending online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Redoble proposed a more sustainable process to combat online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC), “It’s a cat-and-mouse game. We do our best to block URLs containing these illicit materials. But the perpetrators move from one domain or service provider to another. If we isolate a digital environment that prevents this kind of content from being accessed, then we’ll make it harder for criminals to share child abuse files online,” he said.

The GCT, which was conceptualized by Redoble, aims to create a cleaner, safer, and more resilient digital ecosystem. He explained that the platform allows members to share and enroll locally verified and trusted domains among each other, “Currently, internet service providers blindly ingest domain registries including those with malicious files. With the GCT, we are whitelisting domain registries to ensure that our customers only access websites that are free of illicit content.”

Redoble also stressed the need for close collaboration with law enforcement agencies – both local and international – to identify the perpetrators and prosecute them. A study by UNICEF Philippines revealed that the production of CSAEM in the country proliferates in poverty-ridden communities where the victim’s relatives are often the facilitators and foreigners as consumers or patrons of these illicit materials.

The ongoing challenges of hacking incidents, scams, DDoS attacks, and online child abuse materials that telcos and governments face highlight the need for deeper global cooperation among stakeholders.

In January, PLDT and Smart’s collaborative approach to cyberattacks enabled them to prevent more than 1.5 billion attempts to open malicious domains, including CSAEM.

See also: PLDT, Smart prevent 17 billion attempts to open malicious sites, block 400 million fraudulent texts

The initiatives to keep children safe online highlight PLDT and Smart’s commitment to SDG 16 on promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies, which includes an end to abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence and torture against children.

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