Telia was the first company to install NetClean ProActive on its company network.
A few years later, the company also took the step as an Internet service provider to block CSAI sites. “We must accept our social responsibility,” says Marie Ehrling, Chairman of the Board at Telia.
Marie Ehrling first came into contact with NetClean during her time as CEO of TeliaCompany Sweden. In the NetClean ProActive program, management at Telia recognised an opportunity to introduce protection against child sexual abuse images (CSAI) in its network without needing to make the decision itself on what was right or wrong.
“There’s a deep-rooted resistance to anything that restricts, and the unique feature of NetClean ProActive was that we as a company didn’t need to adopt a position. That was done by a system that had been developed together with the police and other authorities,” says Marie Ehrling.
She recounts that when management at Telia decided in 2005 to introduce ProActive, there was a high level of understanding in the organisation.
“It was important to us that we were extremely clear that the tool was to be introduced. We spoke with trade unions and employees in an open process, and they were positive about the decision.”
Three years later Telia also introduced NetClean Whitebox, which helps Internet service providers to block sites containing CSAI. This was a big decision, as it concerns how customers use the company’s network. According to Marie Ehrling, blocking content is a sensitive issue, and Telia’s basic position is that it should be free of regulation.
“That’s why it was important to emphasise that we’re only stopping CSAI. And the great thing about NetClean’s solutions is that they can be defended in front of both employees and customers, as there’s a sustainable method behind them.”
She points out that even if the Internet has meant a lot for developments over the last 10-15 years, it’s also important to be aware of its negative effects.
“As a telecom operator, we must accept our social responsibility when negative issues appear. If we can restrict access to CSAI and contribute to a better Internet, we want to do it.”
Marie Ehrling has been back at TeliaSonera since this spring, as Chairman of the Board. She’s proud that Telia was the first company to introduce protection against CSAI, both internally and in its external networks, and that the company is a good role model for the industry.
“Even if we can’t solve the problem, we can and we want to make a difference by making it clear that we don’t think that this is OK. As a company, Telia is part of society and we want to restrict the problem as far as possible.”