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Priest to telcos: Follow law, install filters vs child porn

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OLONGAPO City, May 5, 2015—Installing simple computer filters could mean more innocent lives saved from cyber pedophiles and sexual predators. But a child rights advocate has claimed local telecommunication (telcos) giants are ignoring this law-mandated task they have, even as news of sex crimes against minors shock the Filipino public daily.

Fr. Shay Cullen during a German Parliamentary visit to the PREDA foundation (Photo: PREDA)

Non-compliance

“They [telcos] have made no statement of compliance with the law … Horrific crimes against children are being done and continue daily over the internet. Filters have not been set up or installed as the law says. The Internet Watch Foundation can prove that. Child and adult pornography is available to children daily on their pads and cell phones. The dirty work of Australian Peter Scully and his local helpers was possible because of uncontrolled internet access,” shared Fr. Shay Cullen, an Irish missionary based in Olongapo City.

 

The priest, who also serves as founding chair of Preda, a foundation fighting for the protection of women and children from sex slavery since 1969, as well for the promotion of human rights, peace, and nonviolence in the Philippines, blasted telcos for allegedly refusing to comply with the Anti-Child Pornography Law of 2009.

RA 9775

He explained RA 9775 explicitly orders the Internet Server Providers (ISPs) to install software to block the transmission of child porn images and videos showing kids forced to do live sexual acts on camera, which are then sent through the internet to paying customers in other cities or countries.

“Criminal pedophiles pay to watch children being abused and raped. Some order they be tortured and killed,” Cullen lamented.

‘Looking the other way’

The Columban missionary expressed wonder why officials of the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) are “looking the other way” in their refusal to implement the law.

“The shareholders of the biggest company, PLDT, can be found on the internet. They are allegedly likewise in violation of the law most of whom are Filipinos and US nationals. Victims of child pornography should file charges against the telecommunication companies and individual stockholders that violate the law. If it is being obeyed, the victims and their families would not be suffering,” Cullen said.

“Now, we see the likely result of this connivance and colluding between big business and government officials … The dirty work of Australian Peter Scully and his local helpers was possible because of uncontrolled internet access.They made videos of a screaming 18-month old child being tortured and murdered. You need to be of strong heart if you watch it,” he added.

Duties of ISPs

Sec. 5 of R.A. 9775 enumerates the duties of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) as follows:

(a) Prevent access or transmittal of child pornography materials by any person and shall install a blocking system to prevent access to such materials;

(b) Within seven days, report the presence thereof, as well as the particulars of the person maintaining, hosting, distributing or in any manner contributing to the Internet address, to the proper authorities; and

(c) Preserve such evidence for purposes of investigation and prosecution by relevant authorities.

Cooperation

It further specifies that an ISP shall, upon the request of proper authorities, furnish the particulars of users who gained or attempted to gain access to an Internet address, which contains child pornography materials, adding that an ISP that will knowingly, willfully and intentionally violate the provision will be penalized accordingly.

In the same way, Sec. 6 of the same statute expressly forbids an internet content host to host any child pornography on its internet address, obliging it to report within a week the presence of child pornography, as well as the particulars of the person maintaining, hosting, distributing or in any manner contributing to such Internet address, to the proper authorities.

Upon the request of proper authorities, the law may also order an internet content host to furnish the particulars of users who gained or attempted to gain access to an Internet address that contains child pornography materials.

To read RA 9775 in full, visit http://www.chanrobles.com/republicacts/republicactno9775.php. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)


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