Anti child-porn alliance launched in Europe

by Chimwemwe Mwanza*

Barcelona – How do mobile operators curb access to websites that pro-actively peddle pornography without interfering in the rights of subscribers?

This is one of the biggest challenges facing European mobile operators particularly those in Norway and France.

Alarmed at the rate at which children were easily accessing pornography sites, the GSM Association (GSMA) has formed an organisation called the Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content to help curb minors’ access to web-based pornography.

“Do operators filter access to pornographic material – the result of which could easily cost them subscribers,” asked GSMA chairperson Craig Erlich.

Operators have less of a choice under these circumstances; they have to rein in on the kind of content that consumers have access to.

Erlich says that international policing group Interpol has in its possession over 200 000 online images of child pornography, representing over 20 000 individual children.

According to Telenor – a Norwegian telecoms operator that’s successfully introduced a filtering system – child pornography has been on the increase in Norway over the past 10 years, with online child abuse content growing by 74% from 2005-06.

When fully functional, the newly established anti child pornography body is expected to have a global footprint and hopes to draw on the support of global mobile operators, governments and regulatory bodies to clamp down on the scourge.

“We have got to make it difficult for child porn vendors to profit the distribution of such offensive material.”

In Europe, Vodafone – with the backing of the European Union – was leading the campaign still in its infancy but with time Erlich hopes that MTN, Orascom, Celtel and Vodacom – four of the biggest operators in Africa – would embrace the initiative.

* Mwanza is attending the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, Spain, as a guest of Cell C. Originally published on Fin24.

 

Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.