PLDT, Smart joins forces with industry allies to curb piracy in the Philippines

After blocking scammers and predators, the Group is setting its sights on combatting piracy in the Philippines.

PLDT and Smart Communications are expanding their efforts to combat piracy in the Philippines after successfully blocking scammers and predators.

During a recent anti-piracy symposium hosted by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), GMA Network, and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), Angel T. Redoble, Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT and Smart, explained that the Group’s site-blocking capabilities could also support measures to prevent the spread of copyrighted materials.

Redoble stated that PLDT had already been blocking scamming websites, phishing websites, and child sexual abuse and exploitation-related materials (CSAEM). PLDT had successfully blocked over one billion attempts to access CSAEM over the past two years. In his speech, he mentioned that the Group’s site-blocking capabilities could easily be extended to support anti-piracy initiatives. When it comes to piracy-related content uploaded to a legitimate site, the Group can block it on a content level, but not the entire site.

Director General Rowel Barba of IPOPHL cited figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, stating that Philippine internet users visited music piracy sites more than 564 million times between 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, pervasive online video piracy in the Philippines has grown to 20 million users in 2022, resulting in revenue leakage of US$781 million, according to Media Partners Asia CEO Vivek Couto.

IPOPHL and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are collaborating to implement voluntary site-blocking measures to target piracy websites and safeguard intellectual property rights against piracy. To expedite this process, IPOPHL will soon implement a voluntary site-blocking and notice-and-takedown mechanism.

Redoble emphasized the importance of industry alliances in curbing piracy, highlighting PLDT’s partnerships with groups like the Internet Watch Foundation and Project Arachnid of Canada in gathering CSAEM links for blocking. He called for sustainable and proactive measures to make cyberspace safe and secure for everyone.

The Group is testing a capability called the Global Chain of Trust (GCT) to create a cleaner, safer, and more resilient digital ecosystem.

PLDT and Smart’s efforts against cybersecurity threats align with the Group’s initiatives to protect customers from cyber harm and to keep children safe online.

They also demonstrate the Group’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #16, promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies, including the end to abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against children.

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