Telecommunications

Industry:
Blocking child sexual abuse content is common sense

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA

All organisations and businesses within the telecoms industry are aware of the problem of child sexual abuse content, and the industry is addressing it in many different ways. GSMA runs an initiative called Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content, which has a membership of more than 100 mobile operators from 65 different countries. Members sign up to deliver on three objectives:

  1. To notify law enforcement and aim to have the content removed from source.
  2. To support the implementation of a reporting-mechanism, such as a hotline, in all countries where they operate.
  3. To work towards restricting access, where allowed, to URLs or websites which feature child sexual abuse content, and to do this by using INTERPOL or other international organisations’ lists of known sites.

Knowledge and best practice

A key piece of work for GSMA going forward is to educate both businesses and the governmental sector about child sexual abuse content and the consequences that it has for the children involved. Businesses need to be aware that child sexual abuse material is evidence, and in order to protect the children depicted in those images and films that evidence has to be handled correctly. We work closely together within the Alliance to share best practice around this. When we work with government departments and the public sector we focus on promoting the WePROTECT Global Alliance Model National Response framework, including legislation and how it needs to be written and implemented in a digital world.

”A key piece of work for GSMA going forward is to educate both businesses and the governmental sector about child sexual abuse content and the consequences that it has for the children involved.”

The biggest challenge

The biggest challenges are the material moving to the darknet and the potential impact of other technologies that could hinder us from finding and getting at the material. To counteract these challenges, we are developing efforts that look at piecing information together and finding patterns in information that can indicate that networks are being used to share content.

Covering a billion subscribers

Within the Alliance we work together with many organisations such as INHOPE, IWF (Internet Watch Foundation), UNICEF, Child Helpline International and ICMEC (International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children). Together all the mobile operator members make an impressive difference, covering more than one billion phone subscribers.

However, we still need to continue working hard to improve our methods, to ensure that hotlines are in place, to work with law and policy makers and more. Personally, I would like to see changes in legislation so that it was possible to restrict access to child sexual abuse content in all countries across the world. In my opinion, that should not be something that is difficult to understand; it is common sense.

GSMA

The GSMA is an industry organisation representing the interests of the world’s nearly 800 mobile operators. GSMA works with strategic issues, technology (standardisation, different types of identity solutions etcetera), advocacy (focus on policy making, law making and regulations, as well as their own foundation ”Mobile for Development” with projects around the world), and industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress. For more information on the GSMA Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content, please see www.gsma.com/mobilealliance.