No team to monitor child porn

No team to monitor child porn
PHOTO: ST

PETALING JAYA - There is no team in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission that currently monitors the Internet for websites with child pornography content.

This comes even as an Internet watch group in Britain records 218 reports of domains or URLs with child pornography hosted in Malay­sia since 1999.

So far, only 46 of these reports by the Internet Watch Foundation have had actions taken against them, while the commission said it had taken measures to block access to 43 child pornography related websites.

Child protection groups are also complaining that under the Ma­­laysian Penal Code, while possession of pornographic material is a crime, viewing content from online streaming is not.

The commission said it currently blocked access to pornographic content, including child pornography, with the co-operation of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) based on complaints it received from the public.

"To date, the commission, with the co-operation of the police and In­­terpol Malaysia, has blocked ac­cess to 43 child pornography re­­lated websites," it said in an interview.

All the actions were taken after receiving public complaints.

However, the commission is un­­der­taking a review of the Com­­munications and Multimedia Act 1998, which include looking into effective mechanisms to deal with pornographic content.

The foundation's hotline mana­ger Chris Hughes said 2011 was the last time that action, which might involve the removal of the content or the website, was taken against a domain or URL hosted in Malaysia based on its report.

"As (known) hosting countries go, you can see that the hosting is very low (in Malaysia) compared to many other countries.

"That is not to say that the content does not exist but that it is not being reported to us or found by us," he said in an interview here.

Hughes said it could also be due to such URLs or domains being hosted on non-English sites which led to the content not found or identified in Western countries.

"Content may also be distributed in other ways (not on publicly acces­sible parts of the internet), for example by phone, live streaming and others," he said.

The Internet Watch Foundation compiles reports made by members of the public or via its hotline against such content on websites and social media.

Among the foundation's reports which had had action taken against them, 19 featured victims between the ages of three and six, 15 between the ages of seven and 10, and nine between the ages of 11 and 15.

Two had images of abuse invol­ving children aged two years and below.

Out of these websites, 10 contained images of sexual activity or non-penetrative activity between children or between children and adult or in solo activity.

Four hosted images of penetrative sexual activity between children or between children and adults, and elements of sadism and bestiality. Most had images of nudity and erotic posing.

Since the foundation does not have any direct partnership in Ma­­laysia, it will notify the British po­­lice, which in turn will alert Inter­pol.

It also maintains a list of URLs with child pornography images to be provided to its partners for blocking.

In May, Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, 23, a mathematics student at Impe­rial College in London, was sentenced to five years' jail by the Southwark Crown Court for downloading and distributing more than 30,000 extreme and disturbing images of child pornography.

He was arrested and charged on Nov 21 last year after the London police were alerted of his Internet account.

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