SOFIA, 19-9-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — GLOBUL is the first telecom in Bulgaria to introduce a filter that blocks web domains containing child sexual abuse materials. The initiative was launched in cooperation with the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior. The news was announced at an official press conference today (16-09-2014) by GLOBUL Chief Executive Officer Stein-Erik Vellan, the Minister of Interior Yordan Bakalov and the Norwegian Ambassador H. E. Guro Katharina H. Vikør.
The filter will be effective for all users of the operator’s mobile data services. Thus, GLOBUL subscribers attempting to access a website with child abuse content via the company’s mobile network will be automatically redirected to a “Stop Page” notifying them that the website they are trying to access is banned.
‘As a responsible company and mobile data provider, we feel it is our duty to make sure our customers have the safest internet experience possible. Launching this filter is a very important step in this direction. I am very proud to say that GLOBUL is the first telecom in Bulgaria to implement such a filter but we do not see it as a competitive advantage and we are willing to share our experience with the other players on the market. Moreover, I believe that we should all work together to fight critical issues such as child sexual abuse’, Mr. Vellan said at the event.
‘I support the idea of a legislative solution to this issue as it has been done in many countries, but until then I would like to urge the other telecoms to join us and start using the filter. I am very grateful to GLOBUL and the Norwegian government for their strong commitment to help fight child abuse’, Minister Yordan Bakalov commented.
The filter blocks a list of domains which is prepared by the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL and the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior based on a predefined set of criteria. This blacklist contains websites with images or movies depicting sexual exploitation, harassment or misuse of children. According to the agreement, GLOBUL will regularly receive an updated blacklist of domains by the relevant department within the Ministry of Interior.
GLOBUL will implement the child sexual abuse filter following the best practice of Telenor , which successfully introduced a similar filter in Norway in September 2004 in partnership with the Norwegian Criminal Investigation Service, Kripos. Telenor was then the first in the world to partner a law enforcement agency in this way. Today, the filter is used by most of Telenor Group business units and by the major telecom operators worldwide. Since the launch of the filter, Telenor has seen some very encouraging results. Statistics show that the number of hits on the STOP-page in Norway has decreased with about 79% from 2009 to 2013.