GSMA Launches Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse

GSM World logodotMobi logoThe GSM Association, the global trade association for mobile operators of which dotMobi is a member, has launched the Mobile Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Content to obstruct the use of the mobile phones and mobile internet by individuals or organisations wishing to consume or profit from child sexual abuse content. While the vast majority of child sexual abuse content is today accessed through conventional connections to the Internet, there is a danger that the broadband networks now being rolled out by mobile operators could be misused in the same way.

The Alliance has been founded by the GSMA, Hutchison 3G Europe, mobilkom austria, Orange FT Group, Telecom Italia, Telefonica/02, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile Group, Vodafone Group and dotMobi to create significant barriers to the misuse of mobile networks and services for hosting, accessing, or profiting from child sexual abuse content. These companies have mobile operations across the world, ensuring that the Alliance will have a global impact. The Alliance aims to stem, and ultimately reverse, the growth of online child sexual abuse content, maintaining a safer mobile environment for all of our customers.

Members of the Alliance will, among other measures, implement technical mechanisms to prevent access to Web sites identified by an appropriate agency as hosting child sexual abuse content. Members will also implement Notice and Take Down processes to enable the removal of any child sexual abuse content posted on their own services, while supporting and promoting ‘hotlines’ or other mechanisms for customers to report child sexual abuse content discovered on the Internet or on mobile content services.

“As our industry rolls out mobile broadband networks that provide quick and easy access to multimedia Web sites, we must put safeguards in place to obstruct criminals looking to use mobile services as a means of accessing or hosting pictures and videos of children being sexually-abused,” said Craig Ehrlich, Chairman of the GSMA. “We call on governments across the world to support this initiative by providing the necessary legal clarity to ensure that mobile operators can act effectively against child sexual abuse content and to step up international enforcement against known sources.”

“As the company representing the space where the Internet and mobility converge, dotMobi is proud to support the Mobile Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Content. The mobile web is an exciting step forward in global communications, but not at the expense of children’s welfare. Because dotMobi works with both on-portal and off-portal content providers around the world, we hope to cast the widest possible net in preventing the availability and distribution of child sexual abuse content,” said Trey Harvin, CEO, dotMobi.

Governments need to ensure that they have the necessary resources in place to combat the spread of digital child sexual abuse content. Ideally, law enforcement authorities, or delegated international organizations, should have processes in place to be able to confirm that individual items of content are illegal.

The Alliance will achieve its objectives by a combination of technical measures, co-operation and information sharing. It will also encourage all mobile operators, regardless of access technology, and the wider mobile community to participate and will interact with other industry initiatives.

More information on this announcement and the GSM Association can be found at gsmworld.com/news/press_2008/press08_09.shtml