Draft Of IRR On Web Filtering Issued

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has come out with the draft of the Implementing Rules and Regulations on web filtering by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The issuance of the IRR by NTC is pursuant to Section 9 of Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 where ISPs are mandated to install filtering software that would curb the proliferation of child pornography on the Internet. The IRR will be contained in a circular to be issued by NTC will, aside from filtering the web, order ISPs  to report to the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation any instance of Internet users in the Philippines accessing any pornographic material involving minors.

According to the NTC draft circular, the filtering software should be able to continuously identify all websites carrying child pornography materials and block or filter access to such websites.  The IRR, when passed, would require ISPs to submit a list of Internet sites containing child pornography that are successfully blocked.

There is a serious concern among i-café owners regarding the implementation of Section 9 of R.A. 9775  which requires the NTC to come out with rules and regulations on the installation of filtering software that will block access to or transmission of any form of child pornography. This the possible degradation of service or the further slowing down of access to internet. When this happens, the quality of service of an i-café will be impaired. To remedy the situation, an i-café owner may resort to having another ISP which means additional cost to the business. We can only hope that the filtering system of the ISPs would not result to slower internet connections.

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